By David Droschak
After missing out on the team competition last year, East Surry returned to the 1-A state men’s high school golf championship this season and finished second at Pinehurst Resort No. 6 course.
East Surry trailed by just three shots heading into round two, but fell off the pace and finished 17 shots behind winner Community School of Davidson.
Landon Barnes was the top individual for East Surry, carding rounds of 80 and 84 to tie for 10th place, while freshmen Chase Harris and Bradley Davis turned in top 25 scores. Barnes finished tied for seventh last year.
“Having the two freshmen playing in spots 2-3 was a little unnerving for them,” said assistant coach Sam Randazzo. “It was their first time there and when you know you’re three back after the first day you try to play as well as you possibly can, and I think they got a little nervous. It was more of a learning experience more than anything else.”
East Wilkes, East Surry and Community School of Davidson all tied at 326 in the Midwest Regional at Cedarbrook Country Club, with Barnes tied for second with a 75.
“We started a junior, two freshmen and two seniors and our seniors are playing spots 4-5 so I think we’re going to be pretty good in the years to come,” Sam said. “And I’ve been working with a couple of really good ninth-graders on the range so we’re going to be in real good shape going into next season with a solid six, seven players.”
East Wilkes was the next best area team in the 1-A team standings, finishing fifth.
In the individual championship, Caleb Surratt from Union Academy edged last year’s champion, Addison Beam from Highland Tech, by one shot. After an up-and-down opening round of even-par, Surratt played a steady-handed round in day two, carding 1-under, 71, with three birdies. He earned the school’s second individual state title. Nick Smith won it in 2016.
Meanwhile, Midway junior Logan Patrick won his second straight 2-A individual championship with rounds of 71 and 74 for a 1-over 145. And Lake Norman Charter earned the school’s first team state championship in men’s golf after two straight years of second place finishes.
Patrick came into the final round as the lone player under par in the field. While he gave a few shots back to the Longleaf course, he maintained a comfortable lead for the majority of the day. Trailing by five shots entering the second round, West Stanly’s Chase Clayton feverishly tried to chase Patrick down during the final round. Clayton posted a round with four of his five birdies on the back nine for a final-round 71 and second-place finish.
Midway finished second in the team competition well off the pace of Lake Norman Charter, followed by West Lincoln and East Lincoln and Forbush.