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Warriors Clean Up In Jefferson District Tournament
Warriors clean up in Jefferson District Tournament
LOCUST GROVE -- It’s the holiday season if you play for the Western Albemarle golf team. After placing second in the Group AA tournament last fall and returning almost the vast majority of their talent, fall couldn’t come soon enough.
“It seems like it took an awfully long time to get here,” said Warriors coach Darren Maynard. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time and this is the fun time of year for us.”
On Monday Western made the most of its first post season match by winning the Jefferson District Tournament by 30 strokes behind it’s youth and long time standout Patrick Leisure.
“We’ve got some real depth,” Maynard said. “Some weeks we’ve got five good scores, some weeks we’ve got six and our three sophomores have had a lot to do with that. And then of course, Patrick, we can always count on him to be out front. I’m sure that as things get a little more nervewracking we’ll lean on him a little bit more.”
The preseason favorite to win the individual title, Leisure was able to take home his second straight JD championship by edging out Charlottesville’s Michael Wilson by one stroke. The Warriors' senior finished the day with a 5-over 76 while the Black Knights' junior came in with a 6-over 77.
“I just kind of worked my way around the course decently well,” Leisure said. “I hit some nice irons shots but most kind of – (Coach Maynard) just kept telling me to plug along. It wasn’t a great round. It was just one of those days where you keep going and keep fighting for every shot even though it’s not the greatest round you’ve ever played. So I think I did that pretty well.”
Coming into the match Wilson didn’t figure that he’d be in the hunt for first place, but he managed the tight course at Lake of the Woods just fine in breezy conditions to earn second and nearly take first.
“With Patrick around, I never thought that first place was available,” Wilson said. “I’m always used to him being so far ahead.”
Monticello’s Michael Comer and Western’s Alex O’Dell tied for third place with a 8-over 79. O’Dell came home with some serious hardware as well. The sophomore was honored as the JD player of the year along with Maynard who was named coach of the year.
As a team, Monticello will join the Warriors at the Region II tournament next week as they beat Charlottesville by seven shots to take second place.
“It was pretty nervewracking,” said Mustangs coach Pam Bradley. “Knowing the kids potential and what they could shoot, we just collectively came around as a team and Michael Comer came up big today.”
Goochland’s Rich O’Connell and Western’s Brett Engle placed fifth and sixth respectively. Regardless of where their team place, all of the top six earned a spot in the Region II tournament.
“We’ve got some real depth,” said Western coach Darren Maynard. “Some weeks we’ve got five good scores, some weeks we’ve got six and our three sophomores have had a lot to do with that. And the of course, Patrick (Leisure), we can always count on him to be out front.”