05/05/09 — NCHSAA 3-A East golf regional

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NCHSAA 3-A East golf regional

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 5, 2009 1:46 PM

PINETOPS -- Ryan Lake started well.

The Eastern Wayne junior birdied the opening hole during the 2009 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern golf regional on a breezy, sun-splashed Monday morning.

Lake lost his momentum four holes later on the par-5, fifth hole.

"A bad drive set me on a bad course," said Lake. "I got too quick and made a bad decision coming out of there. I tried to fight back, but it was tough out there."

Lake carded an 18-hole round of 87 on the picturesque, par-71 Maccripine Country Club layout. He helped the Warriors finish 11th overall in the team portion of the day-long event.

Wilson Fike, led by junior Spencer Whitt, successfully defended its regional team crown with a blistering, four-player total of 293. Whitt claimed medalist honors with a 1-under par 70 despite a double-bogey on No. 15 after hitting into the water.

The Golden Demons collected their seventh regional championship overall in the past nine years. Fike advanced to the NCHSAA finals along with county rival Hunt (324) and NEW 6 opponent Northern Nash (325).

"The course has played tough today," said Fike head coach Jim Boykin. "Everything is firm and it's been windy."

Northern Nash's Daniel Clator fashioned a 1-over 72 and West Craven's Bobbie Baysden carded a 2-over 73 in individual play. Baysden entered the clubhouse as the early leader and closely watched the scoreboard until the final round had been posted.

Eastern Wayne rolled into its final match with some confidence. The Warriors had posted two solid team scores in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play.

"The last couple of matches we've shot pretty good and they knew they had to shoot their career round to have a chance to go to states," said first-year Warriors head coach Scott Waller. "I think they just put too much pressure on themselves instead of going out there to enjoy themselves and just have fun.

"They were thinking too much."

Carson Daly complemented Lake's effort with a 92. Keith Gregorcyk carded a 93 and Hidematsu Sueki completed the Warriors' scoring with a season-best 95. Caleb Jones and Matt Baker also played the challenging layout that tested golfers with tough pin placements either behind the bunkers or on the side of the greens.

"You don't have to hit the ball far here, but you have to hit it accurate," said Lake. "The greens ask for accuracy and with the fairways, you have to hit it tight. Accuracy is a big part out here.

"The course was very fair. The wind was tough, but that's golf."

Southern Wayne sophomore Chris Best, who made his first-ever regional appearance, shot an 88. Best logged six pars including a birdie on No. 1.

Charles B. Aycock senior C.P. Cranford turned in a 90.

Coaches throughout the day commented on the course, which had fast greens and good fairways. They voted on returning to Maccripine CC for next year's regional.

"You have to keep it between the trees to shoot a good score and there's a few holes where water comes into play," said Saints head coach Jeremy Joyner. "You have to try not to beat yourself. It's a good, fair test of golf for a high school regional.

"It's given the kids chances to score, but if you don't hit a good shot, you can put up a big number."