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The Knights were third at the Heritage Invitational, the top finish among Timesland schools.
The (Lynchburg) News & Advance
Cave Spring’s Drew Lagan shot a 72 to tie for third individually at the Heritage Invitational.
Monday, August 12, 2013
FOREST - This is an August the likes of which haven't been seen in a while. Consider the Heritage Invitational golf tournament at London Downs Golf Course. Unlike the typical dry summers where the rough was hay and the greens were slick as a car's hood, London Downs was lush, thick and inviting to the high-schoolers opening their seasons in the year's first big event.
The teams in the mix for this season's trophy were also from a new list. Salem and Cave Spring, which have combined to win the last five team titles in this event, were not in the top three. The Knights, the defending champion at this tournament, settled for fifth while Salem was 21st. The Spartans have a new line-up from last year's senior-laden state title winners.
E.C. Glass took the team title with a 295, two strokes in front of Mills Godwin High School of Henrico County. Tunstall had four scores in the 70s that allowed the Trojans to finish third.
Timesland teams were bunched into the middle of the pack, led by James River with a score of 315, a stroke ahead of Cave Spring, which tied Jefferson Forest for fifth.
"This was a great first tournament for us," said River coach Carol Brenner. Having three in the 70s is great. We have three seniors that are three great leaders. We have a strong team."
James River was the second-smallest school in the invitational and the only 2A school from Timesland, so placing higher than the bigger teams was validation for the Knights as a golf power in the region.
Hidden Valley was a single stroke behind Cave Spring, placing seventh. Blacksburg finished just two shots behind the Titans, so the battle for the River Ridge could be among the most competitive in the region.
Cave Spring senior Drew Lagan birdied his last two holes to come in at even par, four shots behind co-medalists Connor Burgess of Glass and Peter Gasperini from Halifax County. Lagan tied for third with Mills Godwin's Mark Lawrence and Charlottesville's Philip Hoffman.
Lawrence and Lagan played in the same group and know each other from Virginia Stage Golf Association events.
"The greens were pretty slick, but they were holding well," Lagan said. "There was definitely a score out there if you were hitting it well. We were playing it from 6.300 yards so if you keep it in bounds you can take it pretty deep. I thought even might do it but we got in and saw the two 68s, but I still played good."
Lagan said he rarely used his driver, choosing to tee off with a 4-iron and use an 8-iron to approach, rather than play driver-wedge and hope to keep the ball in bounds.
"I didn't really hit it that great but scrambled around to make par," he said.
Lord Botetourt's Lyndsey Hunnell was the low girl, carding a 74 in her first time playing London Downs.
"I was 1-under then I doubled the short par-4 (No. 4, her 13th hole of the day). I had notes from boys and they said they could drive it, so I thought I could drive it. I jumped to look, saw a white out-of-bounds stake and thought that was the pin," Hunnell said. "I ended up behind one of those big hay bushes. I chipped way past the hole and four-putted when the last putt lipped out. The next hole I had a really short putt - and I don't miss three-footers - but it lipped out."
Performing well in the Heritage Invitational gives Roanoke teams confidence going into the Bob McLelland Metro, which begins tomorrow.
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