Apr. 7—BLUEFIELD, Va. — During Tuesday’s Southwest District golf tournament at Fincastle Golf Course, Richlands’ Caleigh Street found herself in a familiar and comfortable spot: way out in front of the field.
The Blue Tornado senior golf standout collected the Southwest District individual championship, turning in an even par 70 to finish ahead of Graham’s Abby Peterson by four strokes.
Richlands’ jewel from Jewell Ridge admitted that the Virginia High School League’s Spring 2021 golf season has been bizarrely irregular — starting in the dead of winter and moving into the spring. Tuesday’s weather was very warm and comfortable, however, and she put in a good round.
“I did everything really well. I hit a bunch of fairways. I hit most of my greens and I putted good. I two-putted just about everything and made the birdies I needed to win … and just to feel good about my score today,” said Street, who won the previous four SWD golf events she’d played in leading up to Tuesday’s Districts.
Street, who shot a 69 at Cedar Hills Country Club in Lee County, Va. to win the Region 2D individual championship in fall of 2019, looks forward to defending her regional crown next week at Fincastle. She also looks forward to playing in a field with boys golfers.
“I like it being combined. It gives me a challenge, playing with the boys,” said Street, who will play for the Radford University women’s golf team next fall.
“I do like [the Fincastle] course … it’s really nice. They have everything set up great,” said Street.
Peterson’s second-place 74 hardly went for naught. Her score led the Graham golf team to the SWD tournament championship with a team tally of 329. The Blue Tornado — led by Street’s par round — also qualified her squad for next week’s Region D golf tournament. Richlands finished with a runner-up score of 362.
The Graham golfers had to defend their SWD team title in spite of mainstay Ben Morgan having been forced to sit out due to COVID contact tracing related to his participation in football. Peterson’s second-place round was a timely lift for the G-Golfers.
“I thought the kids … all of them played well. This is one of the toughest courses these kids will play. I thought it would be tough for a lot of the kids who don’t play here normally and it turned out that way. This is a tough course,” said Graham golf coach Todd Baker, who expects Morgan to be cleared to play golf next week.
“I thought Abby Peterson shot really well. That 74 is her lowest score of the season,” said Baker, who was named SWD Coach of the Year.
Graham’s Brayden Surface shot a 77 to finish third overall for the G-Golfers. Alex Ramsey shot 85 and Joe Tyson shot a 93, Jackson Ward shot a 96 while Robert Edwards carded a 123.
“Everybody was about where they shoot. Ben [Morgan] can shoot anywhere from a 75 to an 80 and even lower if he’s putting well. For everybody to play well and to win was big today,” Baker said.
Going with Street’s medal-winning round was a 93 by Richlands’ Colton Hartsock and a 94 from teammate Alex Mitchell. Elise Clevinger added a 105 and David Compton shot a 113.
In the team standings Marion finished third with 365, followed by Lebanon (407) and Tazewell (462). Virginia High did not turn in a team score.
Marion’s Tyler Sawyers, who was named SWD Player of the Year, qualified for next week’s regionals after turning in an 80.
Other individual regional qualifiers included Virginia High’s Tyler Stanley (82) and Caleb Leonard (83), Marion’s Hunter Starkey (86) and Lebanon’s Robbie Bundy (91).
The Region 2D tournament will return to Fincastle on Tuesday, April 13, teeing off at 10 a.m.
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