LAUREL FORK—As a last chance tournament of sorts before regional meets begin next week, local golfers used the Piedmont District Championship on Tuesday at Olde Mill Golf Resort to post some of their better performances of the season.
Bassett freshman Camden Bryant was opportunistic and shot an 85 to earn First Team All-District honors.
“It feels pretty good because I haven’t been playing good all season. This is kind of good to end the season like that,” Bryant said following the match. “It got my confidence back.”
Bryant detailed an up-and-down season that has seen him get too frustrated and flustered at times. On Tuesday, he said he remained more composed and was rewarded with an all-district award.
“It’s definitely an honor for my first year and being able to be up there with those good players,” Bryant said.
Joining him on the first team were medalist Willoughby Gasperini of Halifax County (78), Halifax’s Will Abdi (85), George Washington’s Will Gunn (79) and Ethan Casteel (81), Magna Vista’s Wil Gardner (85), and Patrick County’s David Smith (83) and Jalen Hagwood (86).
Halifax County led the team competition with a combined score of 353, keyed by Gasperini’s 6-over-par 78 to pace the field. Abdi added an 85 to the team score and Jaxon Lloyd shot a 92 to earn second team all-district recognition.
Magna Vista and Patrick County tied for second with team scores of 362. George Washington took fourth at 371, and Tunstall was fifth at 383.
“I’m encouraged by their play. We can always improve,” Magna Vista head coach Scott Gardner said. “We’ll talk about where they can shave a stroke here or there because today, one stroke would have broken a tie. One stroke does make a difference.”
The Warriors led all teams with four players named to an all-district team. In addition to Wil Gardner’s first-team appointment, Patrick McCrickard (89), Dylan McCrickard (93), and Cameron Robertson (95) all made the second team.
“Today, we had some hiccups in our round and thank goodness they’ve learned how to respond to that,” Scott Gardner said. “We’re in the time of season now where if you don’t, you go home.”
On a 6,300-plus yard course that can sometimes seem longer given its abundance of water hazards, Gunn was pleased with his performance and a second-place finish.
“I was striking the ball really well, making really good contact,” said Gunn, a junior. “I was playing really well off the tee. I had some shaky holes but no real big problems. I’ve been working really hard at the range practicing a lot and I guess it showed today.”
Though he finished the day as the individual runner-up, Gunn said he was encouraged by his day.
“I’m happy with first team all-district, but second (place) gives me the motivation to keep working toward first,” he said.
Gunn and his teammates head next week to a sub-regional tournament in Lynchburg that will decide if they continue on to the Class 4 Region D regional meet.
“Today definitely builds a lot of confidence,” Gunn said. “I felt really comfortable out there—comfortable with my swing, putting, everything. I’m really looking forward to next week.”
The all-district second team also consisted of Patrick County’s Wesley Roberson (92), and Tunstall’s Dylan Martin (91), Noah White (92) and Karrington Brooks (94).
Piedmont District Championships
at Olde Mill Golf Resort
Parker Cotton is a sports reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin and Danville Register & Bee. You can reach him at (276) 638-8801 ext. 215. Follow @ByParkerCotton.