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Winters Run Golf Club in Bel Air hosts much-needed golf event for 28 local high school golfers

When the announcement came a number of weeks ago, that there wasn’t going to a be a Fall high school sports season, it included maybe the most social distancing sport of all, golf.

On Friday, 28 Harford County high school golfers, 24 boys and four girls, teed it up at Winters Run Golf Club in Bel Air, participating in an much-needed event, the Winters Run High School Invitational. Players represented Aberdeen, Bel Air, C. Milton Wright, Fallston, Harford Tech, North Harford and Patterson Mill high schools.

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“Coach Steve Mull came to me and was interested in running a high school golf tournament and we’re proud to host it and give all the Harford County athletes a chance to showcase their skills, despite their season being canceled this year,” club professional Andy Spencer said. “Got a great turnout, great weather and we’re happy to do it.”

And it was clear that the players were excited, happy and thankful to play.

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“I think it’s great to be able to catch up with a bunch of buddies I hadn’t seen in a while and getting out and just having fun on the course, I mean that’s what it’s all about,” Fallston senior Evan Kays said. “Thought it was a great time.”

The 28 players were divided into seven foursomes, with with rated players based on scoring. Each foursome had A, B, C and D players.

The tournament competition was among all seven foursomes; the best three scores per hole were totaled and then all 18 were totaled to produce the overall score, with 216 serving as par.

The were also battles for the low male and female scores and a closed to the pin.

When play was finished, it was an sophomore and senior, respectively, winning the low round female and male awards. Both players, Erica Honadel of Aberdeen and Connor Fantom of C. Milton Wright each shot 79.

“I felt like it was a really great experience to actually be with people, especially because of COVID and being stuck at home, not being able to go to school,” Honadel said. “It was just a really great opportunity to have fun and I think I really enjoyed it out here today.”

As for her play, Honadel said, “I’ve actually been struggling a bit lately, so to be out here and actually play decent was really a big confidence booster.”

Honadel shot 37-42 for her 79, which included one birdie."In the summer I played a lot, but now since school started, I try to come out here, but it’s definitely not as much as when it was summer and I didn’t have to go to school," Honadel said.

Lily Harman of Bel Air shot 95 to finish runner-up.

For Fantom, his card showed nines of 40 and 39 for his 79, but his win wasn’t official until through retrogression, his score on the eighth handicap hole, was a stroke better better than that of Patterson Mill’s Brandon Palen, who also shot 79.

“It was a real pleasure to be out here, see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while because of COVID and it’s great to be out here, get a good score in on a pretty difficult golf course right now,” Fantom said. “It’s good to be out here.”

As for his play, Fantom, who made two birdies, said, “I birdied both par 5′s on the back, I mean, I guess it was enough to get it done. I don’t think I played my best, but I guess it was good enough and it’s still a hard course playing out there.”

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Fantom’s school mate Trevor Heid shot 81.

As for the team or foursome scoring, the best score turned in was 249. The foursome was Zach Wilcox (North Harford); Peter Ridolfi (Aberdeen); John Harrison (Patterson Mill); and Jake Martin (Harford Tech).

The score was a stroke better than the 250 shot by the foursome that included both Fantom and Kays.

North Harford sophomore Johnny Manzari was also in the group. It was Manzari’s shot to within 8′-6″ of the cup on hole 15 that won him closest to the pin honors.

“I think it’s cool, cause we haven’t been able to play with other high schools and other people for awhile actually and I think it’s pretty cool,” Manzari said. “I didn’t play well, myself, but I was able to play with other people and have fun.”

Each player paid $15 which covered the cost of post round food. Taylor Made Golf donated some prizes and Winters Run kicked in some gift certificate money as well.

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