Golf - Gunter Memorial

FRONT ROYAL — Heavy rain has been all too common this summer and it affected another sporting event this week. The second round of the 31st annual Bryan Gunter Memorial Golf Tournament, which was supposed to take place at Winchester Country Club today, has been canceled due to flooding on the course.

The tournament’s first round Tuesday at Shenandoah Valley Golf club also experienced some weather problems that made things difficult for the golfers. After a morning of steamy, sticky conditions a heavy downpour erupted in the early afternoon.

The results of Tuesday’s round became the final results, giving Woodgrove this year’s championship with a score of 303. The Wolverines won by four over Loudoun Valley (307) on the par-71 Blue and White courses.

Among the local teams, Handley was the top finisher with a 334 total, which tied Fauquier for fifth. James Wood and Sherando tied for seventh with scores of 341. Millbrook was 11th (383) in the 12-team field.

Braxton Duvall led the Judges with an impressive 78 followed by Cody Williams (80), Catherine Burton (87) and Maddi Neff (89).

“My round could’ve been better,” Burton said. “I started out with a bunch of bogeys. I finished with eight pars though. I just had to slow down my shots and focus. If I had started better I think that I could have broken 80.”

“We could have been more patient today,” Handley coach Troy Mezzatesta said. “I thought Braxton played well. He was solid. Catherine continued to play solid today, too. Maddi had a couple of tough putts. I do thinks that it’s a real testament to these kids to play so well today considering the crazy weather we had. This morning you could almost feel the heat coming up out of the ground. Then we had a really hard downpour.”

Jackson Lynch’s 79 led James Wood, which co-hosted the tournament with Handley. Carson Baker (84), Cameron Baker (89) and John Greene (89) rounded out the scoring for the Colonels, who were without Jacob Karen who had the top local score (77) at last week’s Curly Licklider Memorial at Shenandoah Valley.

“I was really happy to get a 79 out there,” Lynch said. “It was pretty tough playing with the weather the way it was. The pins were also placed in tough spots, particularly on the front nine. It was also hot and sticky through the first nine and then the rain really came down hard on the back nine. I don’t think that I’ve ever played in conditions like that.”

“I thought things went well today,” James Wood coach David Oates said. “We’re right where we expected to be at this time of year. Our top player wasn’t here. We had one score in the 70s, and [three] in the 80s. I think those are good scores for us at this point in the season.”

Caleb Dotson’s 82 paced Sherando. Brandon Nice (83), Ian Ames (88) and Parker Gregg (88) rounded out the scoring.

“I had a rough start,” Dotson said. “But I thought I finished pretty strong, I had two birdies on the back nine. That helped turn things around.”

“I was really pleased with Caleb’s round,” Warriors coach Joe Knight said. “That’s the best he’s shot for us this season. We need to get a few more strokes off our scores and, if we can do that, I think that we’ll be okay for this season.”

Jack Hayton and Austin Allamong each shot 93 to pace Millbrook. Jack Hersey (97) and Tyler McGuire (100) rounded out the Pioneers’ scoring.

“I really need to work on my putting more,” Hayton said. “I lose too many strokes there.”

“I thought we did okay today,” Millbrook coach Mark Manspile said. “We’re working on our short game and trying to get some things figured out. We really don’t want to be playing our best golf right now. We want to improve as the season progresses and play our best golf at the end of the season.”

Woodgrove’s Jackson Soska was the event’s medalist. He was the lone golfer to break 70 by firing a 69. He finished three strokes better than Quint Obendorfer (72). Loudoun Valley’s Owen Cook (74) was third.

“It was very exciting to break 70, particularly considering the weather,” Soska said. “I was really stroking it today and keeping it in the fairway. I didn’t do as well with my putting, but it all worked out.”

Michael Thomas (73) and Alex Price (74) also played a big role in Woodgrove’s victory.

“I thought that we played really well today,” Woodgrove coach Jason Lutman said. “It was a rough finish to the tournament with the weather though.”

Strasburg (324) took third. Austin Stickles (77), Seth Stickley (79) and Drew Thomas (79) led the Rams.

“Our kids played real well today,” Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said. “We had some tough times out there with the rain but we were able to put up a pretty good score so we’re pretty happy with the way we played today.”

Jefferson (330) took fourth. Liberty (373), Skyline (382) and Spring Mills (402) were the remaining participants.

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