Licklider Invitational

Posted: August 9, 2013
By JERRY HOLSWORTH
Special to The Winchester Star

Sherando freshman Brett Loy shot a 109 over 27 holes to finish third overall and help the Warriors to a fifth-place showing as a team at the Curly Licklider Invitational Thursday. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

Clarke County senior Brandon Dang shot a 118 Thursday to lead the Eagles to a 12th-place finish the Curly Licklider Invitational at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
FRONT ROYAL — A new star is emerging on the horizon in the Northwestern District in Sherando golfer Brett Loy.

The Warrior freshman came close to stealing the show in a the 17-team Curly Licklider Invitational at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club Thursday, finishing with a 2-under 109 in the 27-hole tournament

Loy’s score was by far the best among Northwestern District competitors, beating James Wood’s Will Holmes (119) and Roger Repasky (119) by 10 strokes each and finishing just two strokes behind overall winner Erick Dulik (107) of Tuscarora.

“I made a lot of putts, but I thought that my irons and my drives could have been better,” said Loy, who shot a 2-over 74 at the Spotswood Invitational on Wednesday. “I know that I can play a lot better. I just have to keep working hard.”

If anyone thought that playing in a big tournament against much larger schools would be too much for the soft-spoken Loy, they were mistaken.

“I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and I have some experience with this kind of competition,” Loy said. “This really wasn’t that intimidating.”

As good as Loy was, Tuscarora was just as dominate as a team. Dulik’s teammate Cameron Norris (108) finished second overall, and Chad Stocks was 6th (110). Led by those three, the Huskies had little trouble winning the team title with a score of 439, topping second-place Spotswood (469) by a whopping 30 strokes.

Loy combined with sophomore Josh Hogue (119) to give Sherando a high finish as a team too, narrowly edging defending district champion James Wood.

The Warriors finished 5th overall with a score of 483, just ahead of the Colonels (485). Strasburg, the only Group A school to finish in the top 10, was seventh with a 492.

Clarke County wasn’t far behind, finishing with a score of 514 to place 12th. Millbrook was 11th (511) and Handley was 14th (542).

Loy, who began playing golf when he was two, was deadly on the putting greens on the way to his solid round.

Putting, however, was the downfall of both Holmes and Repasky, each of whom would have equaled Loy’s finish if they hadn’t three-putted so many holes.

“I was really up and down today, Repasky said. “My irons were good and my woods were too. I just couldn’t seem to make my putts. My putting was so bad, but my irons and my short game saved me today. I could have done a lot better if my putts would have fallen, but I’m very pleased with the rest of my game at this point in the season.”

Holmes was even more blunt.

“I really had a rough day,” Holmes said. “I was hitting my irons really well, and hit every green. It seemed that I three-putted just about every green. I could have done a lot better if I had putted better. It wasn’t the course either. The greens were in great shape. It was me.”

Despite finishing so poorly on the greens, both played well in their short game. A better day on the greens and the Colonel duo will make this year’s district race one of the best in years.

“Both of those guys started off really slow, and could never get the ball in the hole consistently with their putting,” said James Wood coach David Oates said. “They really struggled on short putts under 10 feet.

“But our goal is never to have the best score in the first match of the year. It’s to have the best score in the last match of the year. We’re looking to improve our scores each week, get into district play and go on from there.”

If those three aren’t enough, Pioneer sophomore Brian McGuire (119) equaled both Holmes and Repasky, and along with fellow sophomore Ryan McCarty showed that, like Sherando, Millbrook has a pretty stellar youth movement as well.

“I thought that we did pretty good today,” said Pioneer coach Mike Manspile. “It was our first tournament and Matt Sousa got an eagle and we also had a couple of birdies out there. We need to work on our short game a little bit, but overall I was very pleased with how we played today.”

Clarke County coach Scott Tredway was also very happy with how the Eagles fared. Clarke County, behind two great rounds from Brandon Dang (118) and Danny O’Donnell (127), finished just out of the top 10.

“I really couldn’t be more pleased with how we played today,” Tredway said. “Our first four are right where they need to be. We’re one of the smallest schools here, and our track record in tournaments like this is to finish about in the middle of the pack. We did a little better than that and that’s very promising.”

Scott Mikulec (132) and Colleen Connolly (134) led Handley to its 14th-place finish.

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