WHEELING -An issue with a tree didn't keep Ritchie County golfer Sydney Snodgrass from finishing in a three-way tie atop the Class AA leaderboard after the first round of Tuesday's state tournament.
At Speidel Golf Course at Oglebay Park, Snodgrass shot a 6-over par 78 and joined Poca's Travis Covert and Bluefield's Evan Smith in first place entering today's final round.
Snodgrass, who is the lone Ritchie County representative at the state meet, started yesterday's round with four straight bogeys, including one on the 13th hole where her tee shot landed in a tree. Even though the ball nestled into the timber some 25 feet in the air, she was able to identify the markings on her brand new Titleist.
Photo courtesy of Wheeling Intelligencer
Parkersburg South golfer Alex Schreckengost shot a 7-over par 79 during the Class AAA state golf meet at Speidel Golf Club at Ogelbay Park and is 12th overall entering today’s final round in Wheeling.
Instead of having to walk back to the tee box and hit another drive, she took a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable lie.
"I got lucky -I draw a line on my ball and it was showing," Snodgrass said. "I could tell it was the one I was playing because of the green line. I saved bogey and just tried to get the hole out of my mind."
Snodgrass finished on a high note after playing the final 10 holes at 1-over. A top eight finish secures all-state status, but the Rebel junior has loftier goals in mind.
"I will have the same gameplan; I just don't want to make any stupid mistakes," Snodgrass said. "But I don't want to play too conservatively, either. I'm just excited for (Wednesday)."
In the chase for the team title in Class AA, Roane County stayed in the thick of things after Alston Spears (81), Cam Moore (83) and Cole Moore (85) combined for a 249. Hunter Simmons also shot an 89 for the Raiders.
Poca set the pace at 246. Lurking behind Roane County are Grafton (254), Fairmont Senior (257) and Scott (260).
"I think the guys are a little disappointed," Roane County coach Jim Kendall said. "I'm not anywhere near counting us out and I'm not saying we're going to win, but I don't see three strokes being that much.
"I think my guys will play better tomorrow, and I'm sure Poca will play better tomorrow, too. We just have to beat them by four strokes as a team."
In Class A, Charleston Catholic accounted for the top two individual scores - Christian Casingal (75) and Aaron Persily (76) - and is in an ideal position to successfully its state title after posting a 236. Second-place Madonna (251) trails the Irish by 15 strokes, while Buffalo is third at 254.
St. Marys, which figured it was still a year away from contending for a possible state title when the season began, occupies fourth place at 263.
"We stay in this position and we finish with a winning record of 4-3 at this year's state meet," St. Marys coach Howard Meeks pointed out.
Coleman Lamp led the Blue Devils with an 84, while Robbie Harper and Drew Wells finished at 89 and 90, respectively. Teammate Josh Richard carded a 103.
Among the area golfers who qualified as individuals, Parkersburg Catholic junior Ben Collie was among three individuals who turned in the sixth best score of 82.
"Ben missed a couple of short putts which bummed him out, but I'm pleased with his effort because he did a decent job," Parkersburg Catholic coach Dick Wildt said. "He shot an 82 in a practice round with me on Monday and shot a 79 with his dad during a practice round on Sunday, so he is capable of having a good round (on Wednesday)."
Also seeking all-state honors are Gilmer County's Austin Cunningham (83) and Tyler Consolidated's Corey Wells (83).
In Class AAA, first-place University (225) will have its hands full trying to fend off defending champ Wheeling Park (229), as well as Cabell Midland (235) and George Washington (238) on the final day.
Wheeling Park's Cole Hand posted the low individual round of 72. Parkersburg South sophomore Alex Schreckengost is 12th at 79.
"I started my round on the 18th hole and opened with two bogeys, but at the beginning of the front nine I played my first four holes at even par," Schreckengost said. "It was up and down all day - I had to fight for what I had."