WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Boys championship no problem for Herring

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to The Wilson Times.

Posted

The mission of 14-year-old Jake Herring was not only to emerge the 2018 boys medalist but perform like a champion.

Despite a convincing performance in accomplishing his objective, Herring was hardly satisfied — not by his standards and expectations.

Herring matched par of 71 over the Willow Springs Country Club layout in Wednesday’s final round of the 40th annual Larry Pittman Memorial/Wilson County Junior Golf Championship and seized overall supremacy in the boys division for the first time with rounds of 77-74-71 for an 8-over-par total of 22 and victory margin of 33 shots in the Ages 15-18 division. Herring, a rising sophomore at Fike, competed in the county championship’s oldest age group at the age of 13 last year, and only a quadruple bogey on the final hole prevented him from seizing the title.

“I am very disappointed,” Herring, the 2018 3-A Big East Conference Player of the Year, declared. “I was hoping for under par each day, but I played like crap.”

Adam Dermer, a rising senior at Hunt High, finished the runner-up at 84-86-85—255, while recent Fike graduate Johnathan Hendricks salvaged third at 87-87-85—259.

Arguably the most ecstatic champion in the boys division was 12-year-old Ethan Boyette, who repeated as the 11-12 front-runner at 39-36-36—111, a new 27-hole record in the age division. Last year, Boyette, a rising seventh-grader at Elm City Middle, established a record for the division’s lowest nine-hole score.

“I am really proud of this,” Boyette exclaimed after winning his sixth career county age-group crown. “I did all I could do, and it feels good leaving this age division on a good note. I played a lot better than I did last year. I had one good (record-setting) round last year.”

Also claiming titles were Ryan Richardson, a rising junior at Fike High, in 15-16; Drew O’Neal in 13-14, and brothers Samuel Allegood and Luke Allegood in 9-10 and 8-under, respectively. The Allegood brothers are tournament newcomers. Richardson, who observed his 16th birthday on Tuesday, notched his third age-group victory, while O’Neal celebrated his first — at the expense of his twin brother, Nate, who won the Ages 11-12 title in 2016.

In 17-18, Herring appeared poised to atone for disappointing play — at his expected level. He birdied the first four layouts and followed a double bogey with a birdie at No. 9. But Herring fumed over a 3-over 38 on the back nine.

“Nothing like falling apart the final day of the Larry Pittman,” he lamented. “I was feeling good, but I let it get to my head. I fell apart on the back nine; I’ve got to learn from that. I would have felt a whole lot better.”

However, Herring, despite a demanding summer schedule, doesn’t play to skip future county championships.

“For sure, I will play the rest of my high school career,” he pledged. “I don’t think it would look very good to think you are better than everybody else.”

STERLING TOURNEY

Boyette, in 11-12, completed a sterling tournament performance with a round of eight pars and a bogey on the par-5, No. 13 layout.

“I was very pleased,” he reviewed. “I hit good shots. Sometimes, the birdies don’t come, but I did a job of converting (opportunities). I had a few missed putts and a few missed reads, but I played really well.”

Brayden Joyner surged back to a runner-up finish at 48-57-43—148, while Cameron Ratliff slipped one position to third at 52-49-52—151.

“I want good competition and I’ll get it next year (in 13-14),” Boyette assured.

Awaiting him will be the O’Neal twins and Noah Joyner.

Drew O’Neal, the second-round leader, stayed steady, prevailing with rounds of 88-75-76—239. Nate O’Neal hung onto second place at 88-81-78—247, while Joyner remained third at 90-81-79—250.

Drew O’Neal started the final round six shots in front of his brother. Nate pulled as close as five shots. But Drew birdied a layout that Nate double-bogeyed and Nate decided to turn his attention to taking second. The twins are rising eighth-graders at Speight Middle.

Drew actually emerged the runner-up to Ages 17-18 champion Jake Herring in the medalist chase. His round of 38-38—76 included birdies at Nos. 2 and 17.

“It feels amazing to beat my brother,” the bespectacled left-hander said with a huge grin. “But it’s a good thing for him to be happy for me. He played well — I just beat him.

“The first day, I have no clue why I played like I did (88). I played great (Tuesday) and OK today. Today, I didn’t make as many putts but I hit my irons pretty well.”

Nate O’Neal sealed a runner-up finish with a par on No. 18.

HUNG IN THERE

Richardson, in 15-16, added Wednesday’s 83 to a 95 and an 85 for a 263 total for 54 holes. Dante Gaetano grabbed second at 100-93-91—292, with Clay Williams in third at 104-96-90—290.

“It feels pretty good,” Richardson said of his third age-group victory. “I hung in there, kept grinding and didn’t give up. I improved each day. I expected to do pretty good and, after the first day, I knew I would probably win.”

In 9-10, front-runner Samuel Allegood matched runner-up Joseph Butts shot-for-shot the final five holes to seize the top finish. Allegood shot 23-23-25—70, while Butts took second at 22-29-25—76. Colby Kennedy surged to third at 24-30-37—81.

“I played pretty good,” Allegood expressed. “I wanted to shoot 25 or lower. I had a six-shot lead. I shot 25 and my nearest competitor shot 25.”

Luke Allegood, in 8-Under, dominated at 30-26-27—83. Bowman Smith wound up second at 29-34-32-96. Thomas Layton, a 4-year-old who created a buzz, placed third at 33-33-33—99.

“Good,” Luke Allegood answered when asked how he felt about his first golf championship and how he played.

And the 8-year-old added a parting shot: “I have waited my whole life to play in this.”

Comments