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Simons Shines at Wirt Invite

Roane golfer earns medalist honors

Roane County senior Emerson Simons, pictured here hitting a chip shot on No. 18 Friday afternoon during the Wirt County Invitational at MIngo Bottom Golf Club, fired a 2-over par 74 en route to earning medalist honors. (Photo by Jay W. Bennett)

ELIZABETH — Mother Nature ended up cooperating here Friday during the Wirt County Invitational at Mingo Bottom Golf Club and Roane County’s Emerson Simons took advantage by earning medalist honors.

The Roane County senior shot a 2-over par 74 en route to besting the field. Preston Lawhon of St. Marys finished runner-up after carding a 5-over par 77. Webster County’s Sydney Baird was the only other golfer to break 80 as the Highlander finished with a 78.

“I’m happy with my score, but I’m kind of not at the same time,” admitted Simons.

“I was 1-over through 16. I duffed a chip on 17 and bogeyed the hole and I was so mad. I had two birdies on the front nine and I think one on the back.

“My chipping, I’m not a good chipper. My short game is not very good. Other than that everything was pretty good. If I did something wrong I made up for it somehow. My goal this season is to keep it in the 70s. I’m so tired of shooting in the 80s.”

With the help of Lawhon and fellow all-tournament team members Brayden Hall and Trent Renner, both of whom shot 82, along with Cole Darnold’s 85 the Blue Devils rolled to the team title with a 326.

Williamstown, which finished runner-up with a 377 but didn’t land anyone on the all-tournament squad, was led by Will Barniak’s 89. Logan Borkowski had a 92 for the Yellowjackets while Tyler Fenton and Toby Thompson had respective 98s.

“I’m just happy for the day,” Lawhon said. “Brayden and Trent both had some bad shots and good shots and scrambling it all together for an 82 doing what they can. I feel like I recovered very well today. My worst score was a bogey. I kept damage control really good no matter how bad the previous shot was.”

Along with chipping in for birdie on No. 5, Lawhon also made a birdie on the par-5, 14th. He missed a short put for birdie on No. 18 after draining a 20-footer to salvage par on No. 16, which led to a big first pump.

“I’m happy with our team,” Lawhon added.

“I feel like not everyone played their best. We all had our bad shots, but overall we finished pretty well. For me as an individual I feel like I kind of started playing a little bit more stupid toward the end with just not placing chips correctly and not hitting greens, but overall I’m happy with my day because I felt my driver was really straight and it’s the best tournament I’ve had all year, including Callaway, with the driver.”

Roane County (382), Gilmer County (404) and Webster County (457) rounded out the top five team scores.

Also earning all-tournament honors were Calhoun County’s Landon Bennett (80) as well as Parkersburg Catholic’s Blake Lewis and Tyler Consolidated’s Mason Nichols, who carded respective 84s.

Ravenswood’s only golfer, Kelan Lucas, shot a 91 for the Red Devils. Roane County’s second best effort was a 92 from Daren Raines.

Gilmer County was led by a pair of 95s from Seth Stewart and Logan Arden.

Wirt County’s lone participants were Brody Johns (139) and Daniel Pitts (142).

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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