Thursday, May 8, 2014
The Fort Dorchester boys’ golf team finished just three strokes shy of claiming the Region 8-AAAA championship.
Bluffton came in with a score of 617 to win the region championship match held at Miler Golf Course Monday. Fort Dorchester finished at 619 to claim runner up honors. Trailing were Beaufort (630), Ashley Ridge (636) and Summerville (647).
“Bluffton shot lights out the first 18 holes,” Fort Dorchester coach Tom Wilson said. “I didn’t think there was any way we could catch them. Had we known there was a chance, we would have taken a different approach in the second round. We were just focusing on qualifying for Lower State because our region has been so competitive this year.”
Only the top four teams from each region in the lower part of the state advance to compete in the Lower State Qualifier to be held May 14 in Aiken so Summerville’s season is over.
“Our region has to be the deepest in the state and I really feel for Summerville because if they were in another region they would have advanced,” Ashley Ridge coach Chris Shaw said. “Bluffton had a very impressive first-round total of 303 to take a decent lead into the final round.
“Fort Dorchester played steady all day, which isn’t surprising because RJ Keur has been one of the more consistent and better players in the state this season,” Shaw said. “Beaufort used depth to play steady golf and we bounced back from a poor first round to shoot well in the second round and secure a birth to Lower State.”
However, the top golfer from each region championship who is not on a qualifying team also advances to the Lower State match where he will have the opportunity to qualify for the state championships to be held May 18-20 at Furman University.
That honor belongs to Andrew Purcell, who led the Green Wave team with a 153 total. Bluffton’s Alec Weary shot 142 to claim the low-medalist honor.
Fort Dorchester’s RJ Keur was just a stroke behind. Ashley Ridge was led by Ben Crimminger, who came in at 152. The golfers with the top seven scores received all-region honors.
Coaches anticipate a good showing by the Region 8-AAAA golfers in Aiken.
“I feel like Fort Dorchester is really peeking at the right time and my team is built for some of the longer courses and bigger tournaments that we will see the rest of the way,” Shaw said. “I’m looking forward to watching our players next week.”
Fort Dorchester has started three freshmen most of the season and Keur is the team’s only senior, but Wilson is also optimistic.
“We have a young team, but we have gathered experience during several tournaments this year,” he said. “All our guys are capable of putting together a good round on a long course, but we will have to really be focused. We will adjust our practices to help prepare us for the final matches of the year.”
The top eight teams from the Lower State match, plus the top individual not on one of those teams, will advance to the Class AAAA championship.
8-AAAA Boys Golf All-region Team (Top 7 finishers)
Alec Weary – Bluffton – 142 (low medalist)
RJ Keur – Fort Dorchester – 143
Dane Henderson – Fort Dorchester – 152
Ben Crimminger – Ashley Ridge – 152
Austin Zoller – Ashley Ridge – 153
Drew Weary – Bluffton – 153
Andrew Purcell – Summerville – 153