The West Virginia High School State Golf Tournament took place last week at the Jones Course at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, with the top teams and individuals from the state, participating.
Locally, Tyler Consolidated junior, Corey Wells, qualified in the Regionals to make the cut for tournament play. Though he did not come away as a medalist this time around, he has set his sights on lower numbers next year.
"I achieved my goal of qualifying states," he said. "The state tournament was a learning experience for me. The course played much harder than previous rounds, and both of my scores were higher than my average. It taught me to prepare even more than you expect."
"Next year I plan to do much better."
Wells finished in a tie for 11th place overall of the 40 individuals competing. He turned in a 41/44 for an 83 on the first day and a 45/44, 89 on the second day for a total score of 172 for the tournament. The medalist for the tournament was Buffalo's Cory Hoshor with a score of 154.
After two complete rounds, the Charleston Catholic team came away with the Class A title, turning in a score of 481. Weirton Madonna placed second with 502, followed by Buffalo, 503; St. Marys, 522; Greenbrier West, 541; Richwood, 566; Notre Dame, 582; and Moorefield, 590.
"We went up Monday afternoon and played a practice round, and Corey was hitting the ball really well, but putting on the Jones course is never easy," said head coach of the Silver Knight golfers, Joe Griffith. "The greens are very fast, and just about every one of them has a break that is tough to read."
"Coaches at the state golf tournament don't get to follow their players out on the course, since we are monitoring players from another class. I started on Hole #15 with a group of class AAA players, while Corey started on Hole #6. I'm not allowed to talk with him during the round, and I only got to see him hit two shots all day."
"On Tuesday, during the first 18 holes, it rained off and on all day. Corey said that it seemed to affect his game for the first six or seven holes, but after that he played better."
"Wednesday was an overcast and cool day, and as usual, there was a breeze at Speidel all day. Corey's score came in six strokes higher than the day before, and he was not pleased with that. A lot of other players also carded higher scores on Wednesday, but Corey was hoping to continue the good play that he had in the second half of the previous day's round."
"I think that the greens dried out somewhat from the first day, and the putting was tougher. I saw players in the group I was monitoring really struggle with the break on the greens."
"Finishing in a tie for 11th place out of 40 golfers is a good result for Corey, but I know that he thought he could do better. He has worked hard at perfecting his game for the past six or more years, and that's what it takes to make it to the state tournament. I look for him to continue to fine-tune his game in the off season and return to the state tournament next year."