Wood’s Holmes finishes 4th at regional golf

Posted: October 9, 2013

James Wood’s Will Holmes earned a state tourney berth by finishing in fourth place at Tuesday's Region 4A North Tournament.

WINCHESTER — James Wood senior Will Holmes was the only local golfer to qualify for state competition during Tuesday’s Region 4A North Golf Tournament Tuesday at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg.

Holmes placed fourth overall with a three-over 73 to earn one of the six individual qualifying spots for the Group 4A state tournament, which will take place next Monday and Tuesday at the same site.

Holmes will not be joined by his teammates, because the Colonels’ team score of 316 put them in fourth place. Only the top two teams qualified for states, and those spots went to Jefferson Forest (299) and Loudoun County (310). E.C. Glass placed third with a 312.

Others who factored into James Wood’s team score were Noah Keller (79), Roger Repasky (81) and Hunter Hall (83).

The only other local golfer to qualify for the Region 4A North tournament was Sherando freshman Brett Loy, who shot a 75. Loy would have needed to shoot a 73 to get into a playoff for one of the six individual state spots.

Loy will have other chances to qualify for states. But for Holmes, this was his last chance, and it was one he definitely wanted to take advantage of after shooting an 82 at last year’s Region II tournament, which ended his season.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Holmes, who spoke in a phone interview Tuesday. “I was hoping the team would get to go to, but we just couldn’t put it together. But it means a lot to me that I get to go.”

Holmes said the cold and windy conditions made play difficult on Tuesday.

“The wind really picked up on the back nine,” he said. “It knocked down iron shots. You had to keep balls low, try to run the ball up to the greens, and make putts.”

Holmes said he wasn’t able to hit a lot of greens, but he kept the ball in play. And during a round in which he made two birdies and five bogeys, Holmes saved his best for last, draining a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. Had he not made that putt, Holmes would have gone to a playoff.

“Making that putt definitely did make my round mean more,” Holmes said.

James Wood coach David Oates said given the conditions, he thought Holmes had an excellent day, and added that he has been playing outstanding for more than a month and a half.

As for the team, Oates said a couple of his players struggled as the round went on.

“Heading into the back nine, we were in a position to advance,” he said. “We just had some bad breaks, but we tried as hard as we could.”

Overall, Oates said the Colonels had an outstanding season though, one that saw them win the Northwestern District regular-season title and take second in the Conference 21 tournament.

“This was a successful season for us,” he said. “Will was outstanding, Roger had a good season, and our three through eight golfers competed and brought out the best in each other.”

Wright said Loy shot 67 and 71 in practice rounds at Heritage Oaks on Sunday and Monday, respectively, but Loy just wasn’t able to find a groove Tuesday.

“He had a game plan going in, but some things didn’t go right,” Wright said. “You can tell he was disappointed, but he kept at it. Prior to the 18th hole he asked if I felt he still had a shot at a playoff, and I said, ‘Sure, with these conditions.’ Sure enough he birdied the last hole. It just wasn’t enough to get him in.

“This doesn’t take away from his season though, because he really had an outstanding year. He really got a lot of people to notice him with his play this year. And he’ll be back.”

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at  rniedzwiecki@winchesterstar.comFollow on Twitter @WinStarSports1