The Sandhills Community College men's golf team rode a second day improvement of nine strokes to win the FTCC Spring Invitational held a week ago at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek.
The Flyers led Wake Tech by two strokes and Surry CC by three, going into the final round. Koby Markham with a 75 and Hunter Oxendine with a 76, helped Coach Gus Ulrich's squad prevail in the end by four over second place Wake Tech.
"It was very cold and blustery so the scores were high," Ulrich said. "Koby was solid and Hunter, who hadn't been playing well, was clutch. I think he was even-par over his last nine holes. It was a good effort overall in tough conditions to give us our first win."
The medalist was Coty Hearn of Patrick Henry CC after rounds of 74-74-148. Top 10 finishers for the Flyers were Markham, tied for fourth place with scores of 79-75-154, Oxendine, seventh, 79-76-155, and Brady Childers, 10th, 78-80-158. Including three schools that did not have enough players to field a team, there were a total of 37 golfers.
Next on the path to a hopefully sixth Region X title in a row, and a trip to the National championships in Lake Chautauqua, N.Y. on June 5-8, is the Camp Lejeune Invitational in Jacksonville, N.C. on March 23-25. Methodist has won the tournament 11 times, including a year ago.
"I like the tournament because we play against bigger schools and it gives us good competition," Ulrich said on a cold and wet Monday morning. "We're looking for some good weather to come our way so we can get out practicing."
Trent Waitley is the only returnee from last year's squad that won the Region X title for the fifth year in a row before finishing sixth at the national tournament. Through the four tournaments in the fall, and the two so far this spring, Markham, Oxendine and Childers have each led the Flyers in scoring twice.
Team scores – 1. Sandhills 319-310-629, 2. Wake Tech 321-312-633, 3. Surry CC 322-321-643, 4. Fayetteville Tech 329-315-644, 5. Central Carolina CC 353-359-712. Top 10 individuals – 1. Coty Hearn (PHCC) 74-74-148, T2. Frankie Lin (RBCC)76-77-153, Harrison Howe (FTCC) 78-75-153, T4. Markham (SCC) 79-75-154, Chris Dorsett (Surry) 80-74-154, Leo Hsiang (WT) 79-75-154, 7. Oxendine (SCC) 79-76-155, T8. Min Kim (WT) 80-76-156, Dylan Wooten (Surry) 74-82-156, 10. Brady Childers (SCC) 78-80-158. Other Sandhills scores – Chris Kraft 85-79-164, Austin Freeman 83-85-168, Waitley 87-88-175.