Wood's Hevner leads Colonels to 2nd-place

James Wood senior shoots tourney-low 77 to help Colonels to 2nd-place finish

August 9, 2011
By Robert Niedzwiecki
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER- Just after the 77 was posted, a few Broad Run players' heads swiveled to where James Wood was sitting in search of the source of the day's lowest score.

The player in question wasn't there at the moment, but when he returned, someone said, "Here he is, if you want his autograph."

No such request was made. But for James Wood senior Kyle Hevner, it definitely felt good to sign his name to his scorecard Monday.

Hevner captured the first Millbrook High School Golf Invitational with a 5-over 77 on the Rock Harbor Golf Course's Rock Course.

As evidenced by the fact that Hevner won by five shots, the windy conditions gave the golfers some problems. But Hevner felt right at home on the Colonels' home course.

"I felt pretty good," said Hevner, who stopped talking momentarily to receive congratulations from Handley coach Tommy Arthur. "I was even par on the front nine, and that gave me confidence. I was hitting pretty much everything - putting good, chipping good, irons were good. "It feels good shooting the best score out of everybody. I don't think I've got close [to winning a tournament]. Maybe top 10, that's it."

Hevner's effort led to a pretty strong showing from the Colonels as a whole. They shot a four-player score of 343 to trail only first-place Freedom (336) and finish one shot ahead of third-place Broad Run (344) in the six-team field.

And for the second straight tournament, James Wood finished ahead of three other Northwestern District schools. Millbrook was fourth (347), Skyline was fifth (403) and Handley was sixth (412).

"Considering how much wind we had out there today and some of these other scores, I thought we had an awesome performance," Colonels coach Al Smith said.

Though Monday was Hevner's best competition round since Rock Harbor was renovated prior to the high school golf season last year, Smith said Hevner posted a couple of similar scores at Rock Harbor over the summer.

Hevner posted three birdies, but he didn't feel there were any particular shots that led to his score.

"I just played pretty consistent," he said. "I kept it in the fairway, and that's the key here."

Hevner said he definitely didn't have a rhythm at last week's Curly Licklider Invitational at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, where he shot a 24-over 129.

"Night and day," he said. "I couldn't hit my irons. I definitely improved."

When Hevner can control his iron play like he did Monday, Smith said he's definitely a threat to go low.

"A lot of people think when you take too many putts, putting's the problem," Smith said. "But a lot of times it might be your approach shots that leave you a 60-foot putt, and it's hard to get it in in two. So I think that's key for him. He was able to get his approach shots a little bit closer to give him shorter putts."

The Colonels were also led by Will Holmes (86), Roger Repasky (89) and Russell Repasky (91).

Millbrook, which was led by Matt Fazenbaker (one of three players who tied for second with an 82), will hope for a stronger effort at the first Northwestern District mini Thursday, which will also be held at Rock Harbor.

The Pioneers' effort was hampered Monday because Woody Plante had to withdraw because of back spasms.

"The conditions were a little bit tougher," Millbrook coach Russ Korn said. "I think Woody would have been able to contribute to the score a little bit, and normally, we'd like to be in the 330-340 range. Hopefully we'll be able to use this to our advantage for Thursday."

Fazenbaker is more than capable of shooting lower, and he felt he showed progress from the Licklider.

"I was more comfortable putting than usual [today], and I think I picked up a few strokes there," he said.

Korn was pleased with how Millbrook's first golf invitational went, though he'd like to see it grow to 10 to 12 teams. Korn said he sent out invites to 60 schools, but because many of them had previous commitments he couldn't get a large turnout this year.

"A lot of work and preparation goes into a tournament like this," Korn said. "To get six is good for a first time. Overall, everything went pretty smooth, and I think everyone had a good time."

Handley was led by Jee Kim, who shot a 98.

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