LOCUST GROVE — Experience usually is a key component in high school golf, especially when it comes to closing out tight matches.
But youth was served Wednesday afternoon as three freshmen shared medalist honors during the first Jefferson District golf match of the season at Lake of Woods Golf Course.
Charlottesville’s Preston Burton, Fluvanna County’s Killian Donnelly and Albemarle’s Vivian Hui carded rounds of 76 to finish the tournament at five-over-par and tied for first place.
Burton and Donnelly played together in the first group of the day and fed off one another’s energy.
Despite triple bogeying the opening hole, Burton battled back to shoot 2-over-par for the rest of the day to earn a share of the top prize.
“I putted pretty well and my short game was really good and I think I hit the ball pretty straight off the tee,” Burton said. “I just couldn’t hit an iron straight.”
Donnelly made the most of his first district match for the Flucos, posting a 39 on the front 9 and a 37 over the final nine holes. He finished with one birdie, and pushed a putt just wide on No. 17 that would’ve given him the lead outright.
“My irons were working pretty well for me,” Donnelly said. “I had two birdies and five bogeys. I think I did alright, but a left a lot of strokes out there today.”
Hui was a pleasant surprise for Albemarle. After the Patriots’ top two golfers struggled, Hui shot a 38 on both the front 9 and back 9 to secure a share of first place.
The freshman is used to playing in pressure situations. This summer, Hui took home top honors in her age group at the Virginia State Golf Association championships.
“I was happy with my long game, but my putting wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be,” Hui said. “My driver has been bad lately, so I didn’t use my driver at all today and I made like every fairway, which was good. But my putting wasn’t as good, I had a lot of three putts.”
Western Albemarle had five golfers shoot 85 or better to take home top team honors with a score of 328.
Luke Vance shot an 80 to lead the Warriors, while Ben Winslow and Jacob Petty each turned in 82’s to help push Western to the top. Brian O’Dea, who carded a 71 to clinch last year’s team title for the Warriors, shot an 84. Sam Stoke (85) and Aidan Halloran (96) also represented Western Albemarle.
Albemarle (341) finished second overall thanks to a strong push from the middle of its lineup. Mia Lang posted an 81 at No. 3 to go along with Hui to lead the team, along with seniors Robert Brozey (91) and Jack Kelly (93). Michael Wambacher and Aaron Farmer each shot 93’s for the Patriots.
Fluvanna County (359) finished third. Jared Williams carded an 83, while Maggie Wentz (97) and Tyler Haynes (101) also registered solid scores. Cameron Marshall (103) and Caleb Vickers (105) also competed for the Flucos.
Will Johnson and Zach Redifer each posted rounds of 88 to lead Orange County (361) to a fourth-place finish. Luke Jarrell added a 92, one stroke ahead of Cale Carr (93).
Taylor Jenkins (100) and Drew Harrington (114) also represented the Hornets.
Zane Moore finished one stroke back of the leaders with a 77 to lead Louisa County (362) to a fifth-place effort. Price Straley posted an 85 for the Lions. Evan Straley chipped in a 91 and Perry Hopkins finished with a 109. Nate Feagans (113) also participated for Louisa County.
Braden Swartout tallied a 92 to lead a young Monticello team to a score of 398. Will Owens posted a 97, followed by Nick Anglin (103), Curt Hoffman (106), Jack Eberl (111) and Marcus Beauford (119).
Rob Walker carded a 99 to join Burton with sub-100 rounds for Charlottesville (404). Angus Munro (114), Landon Rybolt (115), Griffin Witts (124) and Thomas Berry (125) led the Black Knights.