The Greenwood High School golf teams have been busy this month with a series of matches as the prep golf season heads into the home stretch. The 5A West conference tournament is scheduled for next Monday, September 21st, at Vilonia. The two GHS squads are coached by Ronnie Sockey (girls) and Tyler Woods (boys).
On September 3rd the Bulldogs, Lady Bulldogs, and Vache Grasse Country Club hosted the first round of the Ryder Cup between Greenwood and Southside. The event is patterned after the annual international competition between pro golfers from the United States and Europe.
“We will continue next Thursday (Sept. 10th) at Ben Geren with two rounds of nine-hole matches, then finish the following week with 18-hole individual matches,” explained Coach Sockey. This is the first year of Ryder Cup competition between the two rival schools from Sebastian County.
In boys’ play, senior Ethan Clark and junior Chris Daggs won on hole #9 to push Greenwood's lead over Southside to 3-2. In girls’ action, the Lady Bulldogs won both of their matches. Junior Grace Woody and freshman Addison Curtis teamed up to beat Southside’s team of Jessica Kantola and Isabella Vann, up four holes with three to play. Then junior Hallie Jones and senior Olivia Walker won five and three over Southside’s duo of Haley Cline and Lela Kamolsori.
In the other boys’ matches, Greenwood lost a close one in the first group by one shot on the final hole. Southside’s Dalton Smith and Espen Baldago won over GHS seniors Brady Fein and Hayden Weaver.
In group two, Greenwood's Ethan Clark and Chris Daggs won by a single shot over the Mavericks’ Landon Gregory and Nick Bray. Clark’s putt on the final hole gave the Bulldogs the team lead over Southside after the first day of competition. But Southside did win the final boys’ match three and two, with Thomas Bray and John Hart defeating the Greenwood senior duo of Avery Cole and Riley Wann.
Last Wednesday, September 9th, both GHS teams joined a pair of conference rivals at Fort Smith’s Ben Geren Park for some 5A West conference action. Those schools included Alma and Van Buren, though neither school had enough female players to qualify for a team score, nor did Alma have enough boys to compete on the team level.
For the GHS girls, junior Hallie Jones earned medalist honors with an 18-hole total of 80, followed by Olivia Walker at 94 and Grace Woody at 97 for a team total of 271 strokes, well ahead of Van Buren’s two girls that completed the course in 239 strokes. A third Van Buren player did not finish. GHS sophomore Maleigha Carney carded a 132, but her score did not count in the team total.
Several junior varsity players also competed for the Lady Bulldogs, including Addison Curtis (132), Maggie Leonard (125), Lacy Cox (115), and Jessica Williams (62, nine holes). The JV team total was 372 strokes.
The boys’ competition was much closer, though Greenwood still won by a dozen strokes over Van Buren, 320 to 332. Brady Fein led the way with a five-over-par total of 77 strokes, followed by Ethan Clark (80), Chris Daggs (80), Hayden Weaver (83), and Avery Cole (86).
Several other Bulldogs also competed, some playing 18 holes and some playing nine. Riley Wann (88), Jake Baxley (97), Deacon Drennan (103) played every hole, while freshmen Landry Gamble (61) and Railin Jordan (64) played nine. The best individual score of the day was turned in by Alma’s Blaine Chambers, a 74, but the Airedales didn’t have enough golfers to merit a team score.
“We are still working to get better each week going into our final week of competition,” said GHS girls coach Ronnie Sockey. “The conference tournament is almost here and we are just doing our part to stay healthy and finish the season.” Both Greenwood teams are expected to perform well and place high in the conference tournament standings that determine which teams and players qualify for the girls’ and boys’ state tournaments.