Lake adjusts attitude after rough start, helps EW's historic run
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 7, 2008 4:10 PM
One short conversation reversed Ryan Lake's misfortune Tuesday afternoon in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A men's east regional at Lane Tree Golf Club.
The Eastern Wayne sophomore toiled through a disastrous eight holes and stopped momentarily to chat with head coach Jerry Pelt before his next tee shot.
"He took me aside and told me what I had done, and what I needed to do," said Lake. "I knew I needed to step up ... took to heart what he said. I started making putts and turned my attitude around. That was the biggest thing."
Lake preserved the Warriors' season, too.
The first-year varsity performer finished with an 89 and helped Eastern Wayne compile a team score of 313 -- good enough for a trip to next week's NCHSAA Championships. It's the Warriors first appearance in the state tournament during Pelt's tenure as head coach.
The two-day, 36-hole event will be contested at Fox Fire Village and Golf Club next Monday and Tuesday.
"I'm really excited about that," said Lake of the state finals. "At the start of the round today, it was kind of nerve racking. But at the end, it made you feel good ... great to know you're needed.
"Our one through three players have been consistent all season. But, we've also shot good the whole season and that put us over the top."
Mount Olive College signee Kyle Ham emerged the Warriors' low scorer with an even-par 72. The senior claimed a three-hole playoff against Fike's Zach Gliarmis and West Craven's Bobby Baysden to take second place overall in individual competition.
Ham saved par with a 20-foot putt on the second playoff hole against Baysden. He lined up the putt, which rolled up the sloping green and smoothly into the cup.
"That was a pressure-packed putt," said Pelt as he watched from the golf cart.
Baysden's tee shot on the third playoff hole caromed off the top of a spectator cart and rolled into a hazard. Baysden had a good lie, but eventually took a double-bogey six on the par-4, No. 1 hole.
Ham two-putted for bogey.
"The playoff really didn't matter to me because we were already in the states," said a grinning Ham. "It's not as fun going as an individual. It's so much better if you're with your teammates."
The Warriors also got strong scores from seniors Eric Huetter (76) and Nick Barrow (79). Matt Baker and Keith Gregorcyk also participated in the day-long event.
Charles B. Aycock senior Austin Forrest scored an 83 in his final high school match. Teammates C.P. Cranford (81), Heyward Jeffreys (81) and Brian Stephenson (82) contributed to the Golden Falcons' fifth-place team score of 327. Keith Barnes and Chase Parnell also played.
Perennial golf factory Wilson Fike, led by Gliarmis' even-par 72, fired a 296 and claimed its sixth regional championship in the last eight years. County foe Wilson Hunt carded a four-player score of 312. Each team advances to the state tournament.
Northern Nash junior Daniel Claytor emerged the medalist with a 2-under par 70. A transfer from Rocky Mount Academy, Claytor recorded three birdies, one bogey and 14 pars. Also qualifying as individuals were Baysden and D.H. Conley's Jared Taunton.
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