By Carl Holcomb
Moorefield Golf junior Zach Arbaugh secured one of the individual low-medalist spots for the state golf tournament with a card of 83 at the Region II tournament held at Tygart Lake Golf Course in Grafton.
The state golf tournament is October 3-4 at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.
“I am very honored to represent MHS golf in the state golf tournament. I am the only one who made it there this year, but hopefully next year we can have the full team now that [Ean] Carr and I will have more experience in the tournament,” Moorefield state golf qualifier Zach Arbaugh remarked.
“At Tygart Lake, I was hitting my driver very well and everything else kinda fell into place. I was a little nervous at first, but then I just calmed down and played my game. In the end everything worked out and I qualified for the state tournament.”
[private] Tucker County won the Region II Championship with a team total of 252 and the runner-up was Trinity Christian with 263, followed by Gilmer County at 264 and Moorefield finished fourth overall with a score of 266 among eight total teams.
Carleigh Bolyard was the overall low-medalist for the Mountain Lions with a card of 77.
This is the first trip to Wheeling for Arbaugh and almost had company as junior teammate Ean Carr was two strokes away from returning to the state tournament with an 85.
Rounding out the score for the Yellow Jackets was sophomore Trace Miller with a total of 98 points, while senior Ethan Slack ended his career with a 130.
Gilmer County’s Haley Wanstreet took the other state low-medalist qualifying berth with an 83.
Tygart Lake Golf Course opened in 1967 and features 18 holes with a distance of over 6,200 yards with bent grass on the greens and Bermuda grass on the fairways.
Arbaugh made birdies on the first, eighth and 14th holes in addition to adding six pars on the day.
The drives were the best aspect of the game for Arbaugh and having mostly straight fairways albeit narrow ones kept the focus where it needed to be.
“Early on in the match I was nervous and got frustrated with myself. Coach A [Wade Armentrout] said he could tell that I was not playing my game and was down on myself. After that I relaxed and played my game. Next hole after he talked to me I hit a great drive and was relaxed. I had three birdies throughout the day which helped me come back from the few bad holes I had. I plan on going out to Oglebay to relax and play my game. Just to enjoy the experience,” Arbaugh stated.
Carr shot one birdie on the 16th hole, while adding five pars on throughout the course.
Arbaugh struggled early, then got some advice from coach Wade Armentrout to focus on each hole by playing his game and not letting one hole affect the rest of the course which helped settle the nerves and create better swings for his game.
“It is an honor for a player to qualify for the state golf tournament. They only take the top two best scorers,” Moorefield Golf Coach Wade Armentrout commented.
“Zach has improved every aspect of his game this season. His drives have been accurate The regional course had some challenging narrow fairways. As I was trying to follow all four players as they were in different groups, I noticed Zach’s body language indicated some discouragement. I walked over to him and he told me about one disappointing score. I told him not to let one hole dictate his score for the whole round. He had a great drive on the following hole. He used that confidence to finish well.”
Arbaugh began the state golf tournament yesterday morning paired with Tyler Consolidated’s Noah Miller, Greenbrier West’s Thomas Vestal and Parkersburg Catholic’s Bryce Moore on the 18th tee (A).
Another golfer joining Arbaugh at Oglebay Resort from our area is Petersburg’s Nick Fleming.