Powell Valley captures Region D golf title

Pat Kenney • Oct 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM

JONESVILLE — The stakes could not have been higher during Monday’s Region D golf tournament at Cedar Hill Country Club.

A trip to the VHSL Group A state tournament was on the line for the team and individual qualifiers. Only two teams and six individuals could earn berths at state.

After all the putts were holed, it was Lonesome Pine District champion Powell Valley that came away with the Region D crown. The Vikings posted a winning score of 315 to slip past Clinch Mountain District champ Gate City.

The Blue Devils, who posted a 321, will join Powell Valley for the state tournament at Independence Golf Club in Richmond on Oct. 19-20.

Gate City’s Clint Lowe won medalist honors after shooting a 3-over-par 74. Lee High’s Alan Audia finished second with a 75 and Powell Valley’s Tre Mullins was third at 76.

For Powell Valley, the game plan was simple.

“I told them before the round to just consider each shot for its own value,’’ said Vikings coach Paul Clendenon. “Go find it and hit the next shot.

“Our top six guys have been pretty consistent all year so they have confidence in each other,’’ Clendenon added. “They all contribute so that’s what they take out onto the course.’’

Mullins led the Vikes, while teammates Luke Holcomb and Todd Galyean posted 79s. Jake Huff came in with an 81.

“We worked hard all summer,’’ Mullins said. “We stick together on and off the course, so that’s why I think our scores are always so close together.’’

Their solid performance in the regional left Mullins and his teammates confident about their chances in Richmond.

“It really feels good to win the Region D,’’ Mullins said. “We really think we have a good chance to win the state tournament.’’

Lowe, a senior, was glad to capture the Region D medalist title, though not overly pleased with his day.

“I made too many stupid mistakes,’’ he said. “Bogeyed the first and had two doubles during my round. But I did make a bunch of good putts for par, so I can’t be too disappointed.’’

Gate City coach Nick Colobro was pleased to see his team reach one of its preseason goals.

“Coming into the season, we set a goal of qualifying for state,’’ Colobro said. “We knew it would be close today, and we played well enough to get it done.’’

Joining Audia as individual qualifiers for the state tournament were Virginia High’s Wes Fletcher (79) and Zack Dean (83), Lebanon’s Nathan Ballenberger (79), Castlewood’s Derek Allen (83) and Twin Springs’ Seth Campbell (84).

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