Depth carries PHS past South

MINERAL WELLS – Uncertainty in the early portion of the golf season is normal as Parkersburg coach Don Snider can attest to.

Yet, after one week of the regular season the Big Reds can let their skipper rest more comfortably now that they have two victories in as many matches.

Friday afternoon at Woodridge Golf Club, three PHS individuals scored below 80 and posted a winning total of 306. Parkersburg South fell two strokes short at 308 despite wrapping up medalist honors as junior Adeena Shears carded a 1-under par 70.

“It is what I said early on -our depth helped us today,” Snider said. “We’re getting great play out of Isaac Prine and Ian McElroy. In our last match, Ian was medalist going into the 18th hole. And Isaac as a freshman has had two scores in the 70s. That’s impressive, and I don’t care where you are playing.

“Lucas Prine bounced back and played well, and Austin is playing as smooth as I’ve seen him. From last year to this year, I just see a nice calmness in his game.”

The two programs will see each other on several more occasions, including Monday’s Parkersburg Country Club Invitational as part of the Callaway Junior High School Series where more than 30 teams will be represented. Three days later, Parkersburg and South hook up again with Williamstown in the mix for the Wood County Invitational.

“I’m really happy – this is a great start to the year,” Snider said. “Going into this match, I thought we would be pretty even.”

The lead foursome of South’s Shears and Alex Schreckengost along with Parkersburg’s Austin Davis and Lucas Prine didn’t waste any time making their way through the course in solid fashion. No one shot higher than 75 in the group.

“That was great pace because you don’t have any hold-ups – everybody can stay in rhythm the whole time,” said Davis, who posted the second lowest score of the day at 2-over 73. “I didn’t have any spectacular shots. Made a couple longer putts for par and another one for birdie. From then, it was get on the green and two-putt every time.”

Davis made all three of his birdies on the back nine.

“I shot 1-over par on the front nine then on the back nine I started making some putts,” Davis said.

Davis and the other two gentlemen in the group pretty much stayed out of Shears’ way as she opened the front nine at 3-under par. Shears ran into a snag with bogeys on the 14th hole and her closing hole at No. 18. Otherwise, she remained consistent with her approach shots, which in turn resulted in short birdie putts.

“Actually, that hasn’t been typical this summer,” Shears said. “My approach shots had been up and down, but after I went to a golf camp in Arizona during the summer that’s when I started hitting approach shots really close.

“I just worked on it and kept hitting approach shots.”

Rounding out the scoring for the Big Reds were Isaac Prine and Lucas Prine both with a 75 and Ian McElroy with an 83.

South’s contingent included Schreckengost with a 74, Dylan Cress with an 80 and Logan Clegg finishing at 84.