PHS takes upper hand in golf series

VIENNA -One day after placing second at the Mountain State Athletic Conference, the Parkersburg golf team did not rest on its laurels during Wednesday’s tri-match with Marietta and Parkersburg South at Parkersburg Country Club.

Behind co-medalist Lauryn Davidson shooting 2-over par 38, the Big Reds won stage 1 of 3 in the series involving the three schools. PHS finished with a team score of 160 compared to 166 for runner-up Parkersburg South.

Marietta’s lineup was missing one of its starters due to an illness and finished in third place at 173.

Also contributing to the Big Reds’ total were Lucas Prine (39), Isaac Prine (41) and Austin Davis (42).

“I thought scores might be high after yesterday’s conference meet,” PHS coach Don Snider said. “They were a little higher, but still they played pretty well. You have to be happy defending your home course.”

Initially, the format consisted of six golfers competing for each school and counting the top four scores. However, coaches made a switch when several lightning strikes were seen in the distance as the final threesome were in the middle of teeing off at the ninth and final hole.

Ian McElroy of PHS, South’s Chase Porter and Marietta’s Heath Hill were taken straight to the clubhouse and their rounds were not factored into the team score regardless of how well they were playing.

“We don’t know if Chase’s score could have been a deal-breaker,” South coach Sherry Morris said.

South’s effort was spearheaded by Adeena Shears’ 39 followed by Trevor Gorrell’s 40. Rounding out the Patriots’ score were Alex Schreckengost (43) and Drew Yanok (44).

Marietta’s top two golfers remained a constant as Nick Thieman shared co-medalist honors with a 38, while Jeffrey Hensler tacked on a 39. Max Fitzgerald followed with a 47, while Matthew Early and Matt Fitzgerald both carded a 49.

“That score is not typical of Max,” Marietta coach John Doughty said.

Absent from the Tigers’ rotation was Garrett Bertram, who was running a fever of 102 degrees on Tuesday.

“We really missed Garrett today – his score would have made a difference,” Doughty said. “Nick and Jeffrey stepped up and played well today. It’s nice to have that.”

Marietta’s next test occurs Saturday at the Dover Invitational. The Tigers like their chances since part of the field includes schools they defeated while capturing first place at East Central Ohio League Tournament in Zanesville.

As a preview of next Tuesday’s Two Rivers Athletic Conference, South ventures to Mountain View Golf Course in Morgantown for a nine-hole meet this afternoon.

Parkersburg, meanwhile, won’t resume its season until next Wednesday when the second stage of the series with South and Marietta switches to the Ohio side of the river at Marietta Country Club.

“This is a fun series,” Snider said. “All three teams are very close and it’s good golf.

“When we go to Marietta, they know that course and will have the upper hand. It will be close again.”