The Teays Valley boys golf team finished seventh on Wednesday with 337 in a Division I Central District sectional held at Turnberry Golf Club.
“I was very happy with the way we played today. It was very tough at Turnberry as the scores indicated,” Teays Valley coach Brian Barnett said. “Our kids stayed the course and did what we needed to do in order to give ourselves a chance to advance to district play.
“We just did not make enough shots and our putting was not very good today. I thought on the front nine we did a good job of getting through the tough holes, but the heat and course hurt us on holes 15, 16 and especially 17.”
Senior Ayden Gillilan tied for the fourth best individual score not on a qualifying team with a round of 79, but Delaware’s Brady Gazarek won the second playoff hole with a birdie to advance to advance to the district tournament.
“I could not feel worse for Ayden. Coming off of 18 he was so disappointed with his round. Then about 45 minutes later learned he had a chance in the playoff,” Barnett said. “He played the first playoff hole well and laced a drive down the left side of the fairway, left his second shot on the par 5 a little short then hit a great approach the stopped instead of rolling out to the hole. He made a nice par. On the second playoff hole he hit his approach shot short on the par 4 and then hit a chip that did not get over the ridge, something that is normally second nature. He had about a two-footer for par that ran by the right side. His approach and chip kinda summed up the day for him and us around the greens.
“Ayden had a tough time on the greens today, which is unusual for him. He was just off a little and it added some unwanted strokes to his score. He has been our rock all year. Ayden optitmizes what a Teays Valley golfer is and looks like. The hours and hours of preparation have allowed him to have an outstanding Senior season for us. He is our leader.”
Adam Benschoter shot 82, Eli Rings had 86, Kyle Wingo shot 90 and Eli Gregg followed with 93.
“Adam Benschoter finished up his golfing career on a high note today. Adam has been trending towards lower and lower scores since about Labor Day. He is a grinder and his game has shown improvement since August 1st,” Barnett said. “Eli Rings finishes up his senior campaign with a very solid round today. Eli has been playing some good golf for us the last two-to-three weeks. The amount of growth and development he has made over the last year is awesome.
“Kyle Wingo is another of our seniors who ends his golf career. Kyle had a up-and-down season. He started out real well today and ran into some trouble on the middle holes. Kyle brings a lot of unique and special things to our program that we will miss next season. Sophomore Eli Gregg played real well for about 13 holes, then ran into 14-17 and could not recover. We will look for big things from him next season.”
Pickerington North won the 15-team sectional with 306, followed by fellow district qualifiers Olentangy Berlin (308), New Albany (312) and Gahanna (312).
Berlin’s Bryce Reed and Pickerington North’s Elijah Hale tied for medalist honors with 74.
The Vikings finish the season as Mid-State League Buckeye Division champions for the third consecutive year.
“I’m very proud of this team and where we are and where we finished. The seniors have left this program better because of their hard work and dedication,” Barnett said. “I could not have asked for a better set of seniors and parents, they are tremendous and will be greatly missed.”