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The dreams of grandeur for Barton College sophomore Bryson Boyette in the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional men’s golf tournament were shattered before he hit an official shot Thursday.
Boyette, the 2018-19 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, confirmed Thursday afternoon that he was forced to withdraw because of a back injury.
He stepped away before honoring his scheduled tee time for Thursday morning’s opening round over the par 35-37—72, 6,960-yard El Campeon Golf Course layout at Mission Inn Resort & Club at Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.
“It was a no-go,” Boyette, a product of Fike High, dejectedly commented in a brief cell phone conversation before he and Barton coach Ashley Leonard boarded a plane for the flight home. “It sucks for sure. I finally get here and I get hurt.”
Boyette, the 2017 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A individual champion his senior year at Fike, was well on his way to qualifying for the super regional as a freshman until illness forced him to withdraw during the second round of the Mount Olive tournament. Boyette was under par at the time he left the course.
Regarding Thursday’s disappointment, Boyette divulged: “I have been hurt all week. We think it’s inflammation in my back. It came up over the last week. I was thinking it would go away, but it didn’t.”
Boyette said he visited a physician, was receiving treatment and resorting to stretching exercises. However, he said he struggled, especially with the longer clubs, on the practice tee Thursday morning.
“Physically, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the round — and especially for three days,” Boyette reasoned.
Boyette, one of eight individuals in the 108-player field not entered as a member of a team, was Barton’s first regional qualifier since Austin Doerr in 2015.