Kettle Run kicks off golf season by winning Evergreen District mini tournament
Fauquier's Will Griffin, left, shot a 42 Wednesday and Kettle Run's Jeremy Cates shot a 37 during the first Evergreen District mini tournament at Fauquier Springs Country Club. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
With an approaching afternoon storm threatening to shorten their meet Wednesday, it appeared paramount for players to start well at Fauquier Springs County Club.
Austin Finan didn't.
The Kettle Run junior shot bogey on hole No. 1 and 2 during the first Evergreen District mini tournament of the season. He recovered marvelously, however, and finished with the second-best score of the day even though rain and lightning eventually cut the tournament from an 18-hole event to a 9-hole version.
Finan also helped Kettle Run win the season-opening meet with a score of 156. Fauquier placed second with a 166 while Liberty finished sixth with a 180.
"It was a great way to start the year," Finan said. "Just getting a win was huge. … I think it was a good confidence-builder for everybody."
Finan shot a 36 over nine holes to tie Liberty's Bailey Russell as individual runner-up. Only Culpeper's Noah Brear shot better. He posted a remarkable 32.
"Incredible," Eagles coach Tom Determan said. "I couldn't believe it."
Rounding out Kettle Run's team score were Jeremy Cates with a 37 (tied fourth), Patrick Turnure with a 41 and Jed Hackman with a 42.
Turnure played as Kettle Run's No. 6 golfer but finished with the Cougars' third best score – a 41 – and placed 10th overall.
"He worked really hard this offseason and improved a lot," Finan said of the sophomore. "It was just huge to come in and handle the pressure.
"Every person on this team can play the game," Finan said. "We can rely on anybody in the top six to post a good score and help the team in any given tournament."
Regardless, Cates and Finan proved to be most impressive as Kettle Run's No. 1 and 2 golfers.
"It's really important for Jeremy and me to play good golf and help lead our team," Finan said. "Not just in the tournaments now, but if we want to get even farther, like potentially states. You always have to have those two low scores."
Finan finished his round only 2-over par after shooting bogey on the first two holes.
"I was pretty happy with it, especially after I started out the day pretty bad," he said. "I got it together."
In fact, on hole No. 8, Finan salvaged par after hitting his tee shot into the wood and needing three strokes to reach the green. He made a clutch 20-foot putt.
"My putting definitely kept me at a pretty good score because I wasn't hitting the ball super well" with other clubs, he said.
Finan continued to shoot even-par over five holes on the back nine before the weather negated those scores and the tournament reverted back to nine-hole totals. Also lost was a birdie on No. 15 by Russell, Liberty's No. 1 golfer. He chipped in on that hole just before the tournament ended.
Rounding out the Eagles' team score were No. 2 Rusty Markley with a 37 (tied fourth), No. 4 Dell Bourgeois with a 49 and No. 3 Jack Johnson with a 58. Despite a pair of top-four scores by Russell and Markley, Liberty's team score suffered due to its lack of depth.
Regardless, Bourgeois broke 50 for the first time in his career, Determan said.
"Good for him," the Liberty coach said. "It wasn't anything to get too excited about, but it's definitely an improvement. I think [the No. 3-6 golfers] will help us out [more] by the end of the year."
Fauquier, meanwhile, got some solid contributions from its bottom four golfers. No. 1 Frankie Strano led the Falcons with a 39 (seven), while No. 3 Michael Patchett shot 40 (tied eighth), No. 2 Will Griffin shot 42 and No. 4 Cameron Lee shot 45.
Those scores, however, weren't quite good enough to beat Kettle Run.
"I'll take second in the first [district] mini, but when the big meets come, we'll be ready," Strano said. "I'm not satisfied."
A freshman, Strano said he struggled with his putter but felt he otherwise played well. He also got to hit the first tee shot of the season on hole No. 1 at the beginning of the tournament.
"The first shot of the season and my first high school shot, and I absolutely striped it," he said. "It went 240 [yards]. The highlight of my day."
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Evergreen District Mini results
1 Kettle Run 156
Austin Finan 36
Jeremy Cates 37
Patrick Turnure 41
Jed Hackman 42
2 Fauquier 166
Frankie Strano 39
Michael Patchett 40
Will Griffin 42
Cameron Lee 45
3 Eastern View 172
Coleby Roman 38
Justin Gorby 43
Cameron Oxenoine 43
James Jorgensen 43
4 Culpeper 173
Noah Brear 32
Mike Sprinkle 46
Craig Settle 47
Donald Bock 48
5 Brentsville 179
Jake Mrochinskin 40
Kirk Bain 44
Lance Keiser 46
Christian Volmer 49
6 Liberty 180
Bailey Russell 36
Rusty Markley 37
Dell Bourgeois 49
Jack Johnson 58
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