GOLDSBORO — East Surry High School golfer Landon Barnes had a strong afternoon of golf at the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Club on Friday, and in one round, qualified himself for both the Dogwood State Junior Boys’ Championship and the Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship.
Both the Dogwood State and Carolinas juniors were hosting their sectional qualifying tournament on Friday, with golfers seeking to qualify for one or the other, or for both state championships. Barnes was seeking to earn spots in both championships and did so, while Mount Airy golfer Sam Nester vied for a shot in the Dogwood State finals, and missed by one stroke.
Barnes shot an even-par 71 on the 6,254-yard course. His round of 34-37 was two under on the front nine and two over on the back. Since he was trying to qualify for both events, he was scored on the leaderboard of each, finishing tied for fourth in the Dogwood State field and tied for eighth in the Carolinas field. Matthew Fary of Thomasville won the Dogwood title outright with his 33-33 — 66 round, and tied for medalist honors with Andrew Wilmoth of Raleigh in the Carolinas field, with Wilmoth shooting an identical 33-33 score.
Barnes, a rising sophomore at East Surry, opened his round with a birdie on the par-4, 488-yard first hole. He had a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, but then made eagle on the par-5 ninth hole, a very accessible par-5 at just 473 yards. Three bogeys and a birdie on the back nine left him at even for the round.
The top 42 finishers entered in the Dogwood field advanced to the state championship at Bermuda Run Country Club on Aug. 1-3. It took a score of 77 or better to qualify. Nester, who shot 38-40 — 78, missed by a stroke. His downfall was as a result of struggling on two holes, the par-4, 433-yard second and the par-4, 385-yard 11th. Nester, like Barnes, birdied the first hole, but then made a triple-bogey 7 at 2. A bogey at the seventh hole put him at 3-over for the day, but he regained that stroke with a birdie at 9, the short par-5. At 11, he made a disastrous quadruple-bogey 8, going to 6-over for the day. A bogey on the next hole, the par-3 11th, put him at +7. Even at that, he still would have advanced if he could have played the last seven holes in 1-under or less. He managed to make par on every hole, but never came up with the birdie he needed to make it into the top 42.
The top 30 finishers in the Carolinas field, in which Nester wasn’t entered, moved on as well. The cut for advancement in this field was a score of 73 or better. The Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship will be held at Cabarrus Country Club in Concord on July 25-27.