Wilson Hunt, Southern Nash's Brantley winners in Big East match

By Nick Piotrowicz

Sports Writer

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Monday’s conditions were almost as well-suited to hockey as they were to golf, and the Big East golfers prepped for Northgreen Country Club dressed as if they would hit the ice.

Temperatures were just above 40 degrees by the time the round finished, yet another subpar day for spring sports. The one solace was that all area teams have dealt with the same trouble: Hardly any practice time.

Monday at least was clear, so the match went ahead as planned. Wilson Hunt played the soggy course better than anybody, winning Monday’s match by nine strokes with a 333 team score.

Whether because of conditions or a lack of practice, nobody scored in the 70s in Monday’s round. Southern Nash’s Haywood Brantley was the medalist with a score of 80.

“I got on long johns, two shirts, an Under Armour, a golf shirt, a pullover and my toboggan,” Brantley said. “I don’t know what I would have done without it, but it did make playing the course a lot harder.”

The Firebirds, who finished third with a 351 mark, have had only a handful of practices and a match that was cut short by nine holes because of nasty weather.

Everybody in the Big East is in the same boat. Northern Nash coach Rick Ruffin said the Knights, who came in fourth, barely can play matches, let alone practice, and the teams are behind in their development.

“And we practiced days we probably shouldn’t have, to be honest,” Ruffin said. “How much we’ve gotten out of that, I don’t know. But it feels like we’ve played as much as we’ve practiced.”

Nash Central (425) finished fifth and Rocky Mount High (443) finished sixth.

All the golfers were fighting to stay lose Monday. Weekend rain made the course soggy, and sharpness just wasn’t there for much of the field.

“I think it’s been tough for everybody,” Southern Nash coach Scott Collie said. “We joke about it all the time, but boys’ golf gets the tough end of the weather most of the time.”

Collie said the Firebirds barely have been able to find acceptable conditions for the driving range.

“I’ve said it before, but I’ve never seen it this consistently bad,” Collie said. “But (Monday) was balmy compared to what we’ve had.”

Brantley was at the top in the field Monday despite a poor start. He said his driving has been poor of late, but it improved Monday.

“I started off with a triple bogey, and I was really mad. I was 5-over through my first four,” Brantley said. “Then I went 3-over on my last 14 holes, so I finished really, really good.”

Logan Vick and John David Morton of Hunt tied for second with 81.

Wilson Hunt 333; Wilson Fike 342; Southern Nash 351; Northern Nash 392; Nash Central 425; Rocky Mount High 443
Medalist: Haywood Brantley (SN) 80.
Individual Scores: Logan Vick (WH) 81; John David Morton (WH) 81; Turner Garris (WF) 82 ... Josh Harden (SN) 86 ... Joseph Cook (NC) 90 ... Zach Stussie (NN) 96 ... Garrett Webb (RMH) 105.


Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz