Golf: Sorkin goes low, Owls qualify for state tourney

Pat Stoetzer
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

When this year’s Class 4A-3A District I golf tournament got postponed and relocated, Westminster’s golf team members seemed to have an advantage.

The tournament being moved to Friday at Westminster National Golf Course, from the other rescheduling plan of Thursday at Oakmont Green — the tourney was slated for Sept. 25 when the season began — meant the Owls would have a chance to play on their home course.

Westminster’s comfort level showed in a big way.

Led by freshman Jennifer Sorkin, the Owls posted a four-player score of 308 to place second in the team standings — and qualify for the state tournament.

Sorkin shook off her struggles from earlier in the week and fired a 4-over par 75 to finish with the low score among girls.

Owls sophomore Aaron Sorkin, Jennifer’s brother, finished with a 7-over 77 (boys par was 70), while junior Cory Campbell and senior Nate Burnett each shot 78.

Urbana won the team title with a 303, and joined Westminster as the district’s team qualifiers for states.

The Owls missed out on advancing last year, so they were determined to make it. And playing at home was a nice boost, Jennifer Sorkin said.

“I was happy that it was moved to this course,” she said. “I’m really comfortable with it since we play here … often. I was pretty confident today.”

Sorkin carded three birdies and said being able to go low erased some of her bad feelings from the week — she shot 44 in Monday’s match against Century, and 45 on Wednesday vs. South Carroll. Both matches came at home, and each time her score didn’t count toward the team total.

“[Thursday] I focused a lot,” Sorkin said. “A lot of practicing so I could be prepared for today.”

The Owls will be in the field at University of Maryland for the state tournament, which begins Oct. 22. Winters Mill made it on the 2A-1A side after the Falcons placed second at their district tourney last week in Hagerstown.

Friday’s conditions were mixed with sun and clouds, cool in temperature and with a steady wind. But Carroll’s competitors improved from last year’s district tournament at Oakmont Green.

Manchester Valley finished fourth Friday with a 361, one year after taking fifth (381). Senior Reece Small led the Mavericks with an 84, and fellow senior George Bowser was next at 87.

Westminster took second in 2017 and came in a 347, but missed the team cut line. Aaron Sorkin carded an 86 a year ago; Campbell finished with an 87, and Burnett shot 89.

Things were much different this time around, and coach Robbie Vaughn credited the Owls’ motivation more than just a course change.

“I think we would have qualified at Oakmont,” Vaughn said. “Switching it to here added an extra level of comfort. And I think that kind of showed.”

Westminster (308): Jennifer Sorkin 75, Aaron Sorkin 77, Cory Campbell 78, Nate Burnett 78.

Manchester Valley (361): Reece Small 84, George Bowser 87, Brandon Walker 92, Logan Austin 98.

pat.stoetzer@carrollcountytimes.com

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