FORT MILL --
The Fort Mill and Nation Ford boy’s golfers brought back a top five finish from the 3A state golf championship recently at Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina University.
Fort Mill finished third with two day team score of 625 in the 36-hole tournament. Nation Ford finished fifth with a team score of 628, one stroke from a fourth place tie. AC Flora beat Chapin in a playoff after both schools tied with a 607 to win the tournament.
“I was really proud of the team,” said Fort Mill head coach Steve Gribble. “It was good team effort the first day. We had three scores in the 70’s and one of the low 80s. That was our goal for the first day, not to shoot ourselves out of it the first day. We were tied for fourth after the first day, which was good.
“Monday night at our team meeting we said we wanted to finish in the top three or better. We started out very slow on Tuesday. We shot a 160 on the front nine and I was a little concerned. But we went to back we started to bring it together.”
Fort Mill senior Nick Eberhardt finished in a tie for second out of 88 golfers with a 145 (74-71) to lead all local scorers.
“Really proud of Nick [Eberhardt],” Gribble said. “He had birdies on two of the last four holes to shoot a one under 71 and tied for the silver medalist for the tournament.”
Fort Mill’s Cory Brooks followed Eberhardt with a 156 (78-80), while Andrew Blum had consistent rounds of 81 each day to give him a 162. Cory Caudle shot 163 (82-81) and Graham Carter finished with a 164 (79-85).
Nation Ford’s Tyler Welliver shot a 155 (77-78) to lead the Falcons and finish 14th overall. The Falcons Corey Verhage shot one-stroke higher at 156 (79-77) to finish 19th overall.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Falcons head coach Michael Matkovich. “Corey Verhage did his job even though he was disappointed with a few holes on Tuesday. He has been my constant. I have counted his score in every match and tournament this year. I know I can count on him to get our team in contention. Tyler Welliver has been the biggest surprise this year. He has kept us in and helped win many matches/tournaments this year. He was determined to get better this year and he did.
“He practiced hard. I can’t say enough about what Tyler did for this team this year. The first goal was to be Region Champs in which we accomplished. Our next goal was to finish in top five and we did that as well. So I am pleased that the boys did what was expected of them.”
Following the rounds of Welliver and Verhage were consistent rounds of 80 by John Neal to give him a 160. Evan Mathis shot a 161 (78-83) and Preston Dabney finished with a 163 (84-79).