Westminster National Golf Club’s course held its share of water Friday, the result of a soggy summer so far.
Wooded areas that covered some fairways and first-cut areas don’t allow much sunlight through, and that means unplayable conditions in some areas. Case in point — the 13th hole, a 327-yard par 4 from the blue tees on Westminster National’s score card, became a par 3 of less than 50 yards.
Modified or not, when six of Carroll’s seven varsity golf teams convened there for the season-opening tournament the players had a similar approach.
A wet course can mean low scores if the shots are pure.
Many players accomplished their goal Friday, led by Westminster’s Cory Campbell. The Owls junior carded two birdies en route to a 2-over 72 and clipped South Carroll’s Ryan Stankewicz by one stroke for medalist honors.
Campbell had birdies on holes No. 7 and 9, both par 5s, and said he had a chance at eagle on the ninth hole but came up a bit short. Other than a bogey on his back nine, Campbell said, things well quite well given the humid conditions.
“I was hitting the ball pretty darn well,” Campbell said. “A couple times I had to just dry my hands off, make sure that the glove didn’t slip. Outside from that, the ball striking was pretty good.”
Winters Mill took first in the team standings (314) thanks to three players in the top seven — juniors Brian Inglis and Ethan Wolbert each shot 74, and fellow junior Emil Serafin fired a 77.
Century’s Liam Wolf, another junior, shot 75 and placed fifth. Liberty senior Gavin Greer was next at 76, and teammate Justin Bartolowits, a junior, shot 78.
Westminster was second with a 327, followed by Liberty (333) and South Carroll (336).
WM coach Kirk Kucharski said he wanted to use Friday’s tournament as a barometer for the regular season, which begins for the Falcons next Thursday against Manchester Valley. Kucharski said he knew the Owls, reigning Carroll County Athletic League champions, were without potential regulars and siblings Aaron Sorkin and Jennifer Sorkin, but told his players to try and block everything out to play well.
“Our scores prove how much effort those guys put in over the summer,” Kucharski said. “It’s good to see.”
Inglis struggled on his front nine but came home in 1-under 33 to tie for third.
Aaron Sorkin, a sophomore, missed the tournament because he was preparing for this weekend’s Capital Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, that pits a team from Maryland against a team from Virginia.
Owls coach Rob Vaughn said he was very pleased with his team’s performance despite being down two players, and the low score bodes well for the season ahead.
Last fall he averaged 41.3 for nine holes and helped Westminster craft an undefeated regular season. Campbell finished eighth at the county tournament and earned Times first-team all-county honors.
“You’ve got to practice a lot,” Campbell said. “Do nothing but chip and putt at home. Starting off this well is very big for me. I’m not the best out here, but starting with a first is always great.”
1. Winters Mill 314, 2. Westminster 327, 3. Liberty 333, 4. South Carroll 336, 5. Century 342, 6. Manchester Valley 371.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Cory Campbell (W) 72, 2. Ryan Stankewicz (SC) 73, 3. Brian Inglis (WM) 74, 3. Ethan Wolbert (WM) 74, 5. Liam Wolf (C) 75, 6. Gavin Greer (L) 76, 7. Emil Serafin (WM) 77, 8. Justin Bartolowits (L) 78, 9. Nate Burnett (W) 80, 10. George Bowser (MV) 85.