Buchanan, Mitchell Win WHC Golf Tournament

Thomas Buchanan lit up the Avery Viking defense for 37 points in the WHC Basketball Tournament, and then lit up the two day WHC Golf Tournament, blistering the field to earn the top spot in the WHC tournament, as well as Most Outstanding in the WHC Tournament.

The Viking golfers finished the event in fifth place, but the story of the tournament may have been the round that didn’t count, put up by Morgan Johnson on the first day of the event.

“It’s a shame that, in conference play during the regular season,” stated Head Coach Boe Barinowski following the event, “the rules aren’t enforced while most coaches themselves play golf away from the athletes.  Then once a year at the Conference Tournament coaches and other adults that are needed to keep score, many of which do not have an adequate understanding of USGA rules, descend on the players and parents in a marginal effort to sporadically enforce rules and keep players’ scores.

“This leaves players and spectators vulnerable to being sited for violations that they may not understand and that are enforced inconsistently during the most important match of in the season.Coaches as a group are not modeling or teaching rules during the regular season and then are forced to rely upon others who don’t always know the rules or play the game to attempt to hold players, parents and spectators accountable. It’s just not  adequate or appropriate. Imagine if the football coaches scrimmaged each other during the regular season while their players competed against each other without referees, then during the conference tournament brought in referees and tried to coach.  That’s what high school competitive golf has been for decades.”

Those words came after a decision prior to the second round that disqualified Johnson’s score from the day before due to “conversation with ‘a parent’ on the course.”

“I think it affected our team as a whole,” continued Barinowski.  “We entered the round thinking we were 13 strokes out of second place, and fell to 29 strokes due to the decision.  It’s evident that it effected the kids, all three of my best golfers shot 5 over par on the 1st hole of the day.

“Golf is a great sport; when a player signs their score card they effect a written contract stating that their score for the day is correct.  When the conference coaches post the scores for players at the end of the day, they collectively state that they agree to those scores.  Disqualifying a player after we’ve agreed to the score turned in is a double standard. In normal circumstances, decisions to disqualify a player should be made the day that the infraction occurred.”

“At least 3 of the coaches knew of the rules violation before scores were posted,” continued Barinowski, “and none of us did anything about it.  In my opinion we didn’t have the right to make the decision the day after the fact.”

The Vikings performed as well as they could amidst the controversy and conditions.  Chase Watson put up an 83 on the first day and coupled it with a 45 on the second to put up a score of 128 in the two day affair; finishing 6th and earning him All-Conference honors.  Johnson shot an 83 on day one, the score that was later disqualified, and added a 46 on day two for a 129.  Ethan Buchanan had his best performance of the season, finishing third on the Viking squad and earning a spot in the regional; following up a 99 on day one with a 45 on the back nine at Mt. Glen for a 144.  Shea Buchanan shot a 147 in the tournament earning him the final slot in the Regional Tournament.  Hunter Gossett and Dylan Aldridge closed out the Avery scoring with a 150 and 152 respectively.

As a team, Avery claimed 5th in the Tournament, shooting a 550 in the tournament. Mitchell won the event with a team score of 494, and swept the honors with Buchanan earning Most Outstanding Golfer and Quentin Buchanan of Mitchell taking Coach of the Year honors.

The top two teams in each division (1A/2A) earned spots in the regional tournament with the top four finishers not on a qualifying team earning slots as well.  The final results were as follows:

Overall Team:

1 – Mitchell (1A, 1A Regional qualifier) – 494
2 – Hendersonville (1A, 1A Regional) – 510
3 – Polk County (2A, 2A Regional) – 516
4 – Owen (2A, 2A Regional) – 538
5 – Avery (1A) – 550
6 – Thomas Jefferson (1A) – 607
7 – Mountain Heritage (2A) – 628
8 – Madison (2A) – 681

All Conference:

1 – Thomas Buchanan (MIT)    70  40 – 110
2 – Wiekus Tolles (HEND)      76  42 – 118
3 – Luke Stewart (MIT)           79  43 – 122
4 – Mickey McMechen (OW)  84  39 – 123
5 – Kyle Brown (PLK)             84  42 – 126
6 – Chase Watson (AVY)        83  45 – 128
6 – Dylan Jones (PLK)            83  45 – 128
8 – Davis Horne (PLK)            88  43 – 131
8 – Grant Hahn (HEND)          88  43 – 131
8 – Marcus Wood (MIT)         87  44 – 131

Regional Qualifiers (Top 4 not on Qualifying Teams)

1A – Chase Watson (AVY) – 128; Lucas Murray (TJCA) – 138; Ethan Buchanan (AVY) – 144; Shea Buchanan (AVY) – 147
2A – Gaston McGill (MAD) – 135; Tyler Emory (MAD) – 137; Spencer Bishop (MHHS) – 152; Zach Brown (MHHS) – 161

Congratulations and good luck to each of these guys as they compete in the Regional tournament on Monday, May 3rd.


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