Nicholas County 114, Oak Hill 134, Midland Trail 160
FAYETTEVILLE – Shady Spring and Herbert Hoover both qualified for the Class AA state golf tournament last year from Region 3.
With both teams returning strong players this year, a return trip to the Wheeling is by no means not out of the question.
However, there is another team from Region 3 that has that Wheeling feeling this year.
Wednesday afternoon at Bridgehaven Golf Club, Nicholas County proved yet again why the Grizzlies will be a state tournament contender when the postseason rolls around.
Led by a 2-under par round from Ben Marsh, Nicholas County defeated Oak Hill and Midland Trail.
Cole Brown added a 39 for the Grizzlies, while Maddox Smallwood shot 41 and Braden Brown carded a 42.
While Marsh admitted that he left a couple of strokes out on the course, the senior standout was never over par at any point in his round Thursday.
“I missed so many short putts and had several putts that just barely missed,” Marsh said. “Overall though, it was a good ball striking day, but the putting could have been better.
After a par on the opening hole, Marsh went to the reachable par-4 second hole with birdie on his mind, but instead, he walked away one shot better.
Launching a 5-wood to the left front portion of the green, Marsh rolled in the 25-footer for an eagle.
“I felt confident with the club that I had hitting the ball into the wind. I knew I wouldn’t go long with the club that I had,” Marsh said. “I went for it and it paid off.”
A par at No. 3 was followed by his first stumble of the day when Marsh bogeyed the difficult uphill par-3. After a solid approach shot trickled off the back of the green, the senior standout could not convert the short par putt.
“The putt broke the opposite way from what I was expecting it to. Stuff like that happens sometimes,” Marsh said.
The second bogey of the round came at No. 6 when Marsh could not get up and down for par, but that would be his last stumble of the day.
With two par-5’s lurking among his final three holes of the day, Marsh’s length off the tee was the key to putting him back in red figures.
Knocking his second shot on the green on both holes, the senior phenom got down in two putts for easy birdies.
“I hit driver and a 60-degree wedge into the final hole,” Marsh said, smiling.
Ian Maynor from Oak Hill was second behind Marsh with a solid round of 38 to lead the Red Devils. Bo Persinger led the Patriots with 46 on the day.
Nicholas County and Oak Hill will be at Grandview Country Club Thursday with Woodrow Wilson, while Midland Trail will battle Pocahontas County at The Raven on Snowshoe Mountain Thursday.
NC: Ben Marsh 34, Cole Brown 39, Maddox Smallwood 41, Braden Brown 42.
OH: Ian Maynor 38, Tyler Scott 48, Aiden Smith 48, Chance Miner 51, Nathaniel James 51, Dustin Harrison 53, Blake Workman 55, Jacob McGuire 56,
Max Lopez 62, Jamison Swafford 62, Lucas Reel 66.
MT: Bo Persinger 46, Matt Light 57, Jayla Barnhouse 57.