Elizabethton rules four-way match at EGC

Photo by Rick Harris
Nate Howell prepares to tee off for the Warriors.

By Wes Holtsclaw
When the first group of golfers came in, it looked like it was going to be a good day for the Volunteer High golf squad.
But two good rounds will not put you on top. It takes consistency, and the Elizabethton Cyclones pulled away for a four-stroke advantage in a four-way golf match against Happy Valley, University High and Volunteer at the Elizabethton Golf Course Wednesday afternoon.
Unaka participated in the individual groups.
"We didn't play as well as we have been," said Elizabethton coach Dave Rider. "We've got to get more consistent. But I think we're improving as the year goes on and that's what you need."
"One young man improved six shots today," he added. "I'm pleased with them. They are good kids and they're working real hard."
Volunteer's Adam Arnold shot the best round with a 37 on the day, while his teammate Tyler Smith and Unaka's Chad Lewis were a stroke behind with a 38. Elizabethton had a solid round from Bradley Brown, with his 39, while University High's female phenom Rachel Ingram led their group with a 41.
In the female single's competition, University High's Candice Williams edged Happy Valley's Kayla Vestal 46 to 59.
"It was a pretty good round," said Arnold, who won his second individual performance of the year.
Arnold eagled the fifth hole and birdied the ninth hole during his round.
"I like playing Elizabethton (Golf Course)," he added. "It's nice and the greens were awesome. They were aerated and the greens were still good. The competition's still pretty tough. There are 10 golfers in the district who all shoot in their 30s and can give you a run for your money, like my teammate (Tyler Smith) did."
A 41 from Eric Carter and a 42 from Craig Shaw, combined with Jacob Thomas' 45, put Elizabethton over the top with their 167 total. Caleb Tull shot a 46 and Jared Thomas shot a 48 for the team.
Volunteer was second in team standings with a 171, with Derek Smith's 47 and Aaron Renfro's 49 adding to their top-four tally. Justin Thurman's 54 and Michah Ervin's 55 were other scores for the Falcons.
University High came in third behind Ingram and a team-wide consistency. John Tillman and Cindy Phillips both shot a 42 while Daniel Foster brought in a 44 with their 169 total. Tyler Blevins (49), Mike Scike (52) and Sam Dyetel (51) also competed for the Junior Bucs.
Happy Valley had a solid round from Ricky Morgan, who shot a 42 on the front-nine, leading the way with their 200 score. He was the only golfer in their forties as Nate Howell (50), Matt Howell (53), B.J. Townsend (55) and Ryan May (55) played Wednesday.
Along with Lewis' 38, Unaka's Chad Grindstaff shot a 52 while Daniel McInturff had a 56.