BLACKSBURG — Sean Ruan didn’t even tee up for Blacksburg on Day 1 of the Bob McLelland Metro Invitational, but the Bruins’ freshman was a valuable member of the squad on Day 2.
Ruan shot a 73 at Blacksburg Country Club to help the Bruins defend their team title on Thursday.
During Wednesday’s opening round at Blue Hills Country Club, Davis Young posted a 74 for Blacksburg, but Young was unavailable Thursday due to a previously scheduled family vacation.
The Bruins’ depth was further tested when Young’s scheduled replacement, Abby Hunter, was stranded in New York City after her Wednesday night flight back from the Big Apple was canceled.
So Blacksburg coach Rick Mattox texted Ruan on Wednesday evening to ask the freshman if he was ready to tee it up.
“Holy cow! A 73 and at one point he had got it to even,” Mattox said of Ruan’s performance. “That was what won it for us.”
Blacksburg trailed Lord Botetourt by one shot in the team competition after the first round, but playing on their home course, the Bruins finished with a total score of 599 for the two-day event outpacing the Cavaliers’ total of 606.
Even though he knows the place, Ruan said initially he didn’t feel quite right on the golf course as he started his round Thursday, but once he got into it, he said he settled in.
“Actually, I was kind of worried with my putting,” Ruan said. “My goal was just to contribute to the team, but I didn’t expect a 73. Just playing here was magical.”
Botetourt did not go home empty-handed. The Cavaliers’s No. 1 player, Samir Davidov, shot a 74 for a two-day total of 145 to take the individual title by a shot over Franklin County’s Cutter Harvey.
Playing in the final group with fellow first round co-leader Timmy Massey of Franklin County who shot 71 on Wednesday, Davidov, a sophomore, had a one-stroke lead heading to the final hole with Harvey already in the clubhouse.
Davidov said he was unaware at the time where he stood in the tournament, but he finished the par 4 finishing hole in regulation to come in with the winning score.
“I felt pretty confident today that if I played consistent, I could take this home,” Davidov said. “The course was difficult with a lot of tucked pins, but it was in good condition and consistent.”
Massey came in with a 79 to finish at 150 for the tournament.
Blacksburg’s Melissa Meng and David Zhang (147) tied for third. Zhang was in the final group on Thursday after a first-round 73 at Blue Hills.
Rounding out the top five in the team competition were Franklin County (645), Hidden Valley (656) and Salem (676).