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Holston golfers run away with third Region D state qualifier

KEVIN MAYS, Times-News Sports Correspondent • Sep 19, 2017 at 9:49 PM

BIG STONE GAP — Holston’s boys golf team all but guaranteed itself a trip to the VHSL Group A championships on Tuesday.

Led by Alex Hulbert’s 40, the Cavaliers won the Region D state qualifier with a 178 team total, easily outdistancing runner-up Patrick Henry (192).

Not bad for a team that arrived at Lonesome Pine Country Club just in the nick of time for the third regional qualifier of the season.

“We showed up a little bit late and we had to jump right out and starting playing,” said Holston coach Jason Southward.

Under a new playoff system for Group A schools this year, each region holds three nine-hole qualifiers and one 18-hole qualifier. The team with the best combined score plus the top five individuals with the best combined scores who are not on the winning team advance to the Group A championships, set for Oct. 9-10 at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg.

Tuesday’s victory gave Holston a win in all three nine-hole qualifiers heading into next Monday’s 18-hole event at Glenrochie Country Club in Abingdon.

While not a mathematical clinch, the Cavs would need a total team collapse at Glenrochie, in addition to having other factors kick in, to lose their stranglehold on the regional crown.

“Realistically, it should clinch it for us,” Southward said.

In the individual competition, Eastside’s Hunter Lunsford and Thomas Walker’s Taylor Williams each carded a 37 to record low scores.

Patrick Henry’s Gavin Grossman finished with a 39, Thomas Walker’s Tanner Cope had a 42, Patrick Henry’s Thatcher Stanley shot 43, Chilhowie’s Isaiah Shadlley had a 46 and Northwood’s Kole Pickel shot a 47.

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