Tuesday’s Northwest 1A Conference championship golf meet might as well have been titled the Surry County Shootout.
The final league showdown of the 2017 season was played on home turf at the Cross Creek Country Club, with 33 golfers from the five six conference schools with golf teams taking part. The competitors played 18 holes for the first time this season, and five of the 33 players broke 80 on the 6,800-yard, par-72 course. All five of them represented either Mount Airy or East Surry.
The Granite Bears’ Reagan Fitzgibbons was the medalist for the meet, shooting 35-38 — 73 to beat teammate Nabyant Wagner by two strokes. However, it was Wagner who was the conference’s top overall performer for the season, and he was rewarded with the 2017 NW1A Player of the Year award. The Cardinals’ Landon Barnes shot 76 to finish in third place at the meet, and was followed by the Bears’ Sam Nester (77) and East Surry’s Will Felts (79). No one else shot better than 84.
The fact that the Bears had three of the hot hands was enough for them to win the meet as a team, with a score of 321. The team’s best four scorers out of six golfers counted toward the team score. Mount Airy beat East Surry by seven strokes, with Bishop McGuinness in third place at 370. Rounding out the team scores were Atkins (382), Walkertown (425) and North Stokes (459).
Zach Hall was the fourth Bear to have his team score count, with Drew Tilley and Brock Heck also participating for Mount Airy, the defending 1A state champion and now two-time reigning NW1A champ. Mount Airy also won the overall team conference title as the team with the lowest aggregate stroke total throughout the season.
For the Cardinals, Jason Moore, Parker Tilley, Zeke Bruner and Drake Cruise rounded out the lineup.
The top four teams in the championship meet have qualified for the 1A Midwest Regional, which will be held at Piney Point Golf Club in Norwood on May 2. If the Bears or Cardinals qualify for the state finals, they will be held at Whispering Pines Country Club on May 8 and 9.