McFarland’s 73 paces ‘Burg to 2nd place in sectionals

September 24, 2013

Cody Leist

PDT Sports Writer

FRIENDSHIP — Two shots separated first place from second place in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast Sectional Boys Golf Tournament at Shawnee State Golf Course.

Despite a one-over 73 from sophomore Mitchell McFarland, Wheelersburg’s team score of 337 was beaten by a team score of 335 turned in by Chesapeake. The Pirates and Panthers, as well as Portsmouth (347), Gallia Academy (352) and Piketon (355) all advanced as teams to next week’s district tournament at the Pickaway County Country Club in Circleville.

“We came in with the idea that we had to play well to get out and beat Chesapeake,” Wheelersburg coach Jarod Shaw said. “We got a great round from Mitchell… he played really well.”

McFarland was glad to have the low round among all individuals. He was pleased to help his team make it out as a group but wanted to be atop the rest of the sectional competition.

“I knew I could’ve shaved two shots out there or three I guess to win, but I can’t complain,” McFarland said.

Also advancing to the districts in regulation as individuals were West’s Jordan Tieman (79), Fairland’s Hayden James (81), Ironton’s Jaylen Thornhill (83) and Waverly’s Daniel Heffner (86). Senators coach Mark Seevers has been impressed with Tieman during his freshman season, most notably his consistency.

“I knew right off the bat in the first week of practice that we had someone special,” Seevers said.

Tieman replaced senior Todd Galloway as a representative of the school. Galloway had advanced to the districts in his previous two seasons.

With most of the crowd gone for the day, the battle for the fifth and final individual slot was about to begin.

West’s Luke Morgan, who had started playing golf seven months ago, and Lynchburg-Clay’s Tristan Wilbanks started what turned out to be a five-hole playoff for the right to advance. The competitors, who each shot 87 in regulation, alternated between the 10th and 18th holes twice but neither could get the upper hand.

The last chance Morgan had to advance came on the second trip to No. 18. However, he had a short putt lip out and force action to the fifth playoff hole.

“A one-foot putt,” Seevers said. “That’s golf.”

The putt came on the heels of the first trip to No. 18, where Wilbanks holed-out a chip shot from behind the green and forced Morgan to make a putt to continue. The senior drained the putt to extend the playoff to, at that point, a third sudden death hole.

On the third trip to No. 10, Wilbanks was able to hit his tee shot in regulation while Morgan hit back-to-back tee shots out of bounds. Morgan conceded once Wilbanks’ second shot hit onto the fringe.

Seevers was proud of how Morgan played having made the transition from the football gridiron to the golf links.

“He showed right away that he was wanting to improve,” Seevers said.

Locally, the Senators as a team finished eighth with a team score of 365, the Tigers’ 372 finished ninth, the Fighting Tigers were 10th (391) and Northwest’s 435 was good enough for 12th out of 15 full teams. The Mohawks were led by a 104 from Flip Cassidy and Minford, which sent three players, was paced by a round of 102 from Mathew Parker.

The low round for the Trojans belonged to Brandon Jones, who finished with an 83. D.J. Graham led the Redstreaks with an 82.

The Division II District Tournament will take place Wednesday, Oct. 2. Shawnee State Golf Course will host a Division III Southeast Sectional Wednesday.

Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or cleist@civitasmedia.com. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.

2013 Division II Southeast District Sectional Tournament — South

at Shawnee State Golf Course

Top 5 teams advance

1. Chesapeake — 335

2. Wheelersburg (Wh) — 337

3. Portsmouth — 347

4. Gallia Academy — 352

5. Piketon — 355

Other area teams

8. West (We) — 365

9. Waverly (We) — 372

10. Ironton — 372

12. Northwest — 435

Medalist: Mitchell McFarland (Wh) — 73

Individuals advancing

1. Jordan Tieman (We) — 79

2. Hayden James (Fairland) — 81

3. Jaylen Thornhill (Ironton) — 83

4. Daniel Heffner (Wa) — 86

5. Tristan Wilbanks (Lynchburg-Clay) — 87*

* — Defeated West’s Luke Morgan on fifth hole of playoff