Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Tom Chard email@example.com
High school golf teams in the SMAA and the Western Maine Conference contended with tough conditions Monday at their league qualifying tournaments.
Chris Billings, Cheverus: Billings shot a 73 on Monday at Natanis to take medalist honors at the SMAA team and individual qualifying tournament for the state championships. Billings earned a spot in the Class A state individual tournament Oct. 19 at Natanis.
Reese McFarlane, Cape Elizabeth: McFarlane, the defending Class B state champion, shot a 75 to take medalist honors at the Western Class B qualifying tournament.
Will Barlock, Deering: Barlock finished second with a 77 in SMAA qualifying at Natanis. He sparked the Rams as they gained a spot in Saturday's state team championship.
Nick Audet, Wells: Audet finished second with a 77 in WMC individual qualifying for the state tournament while leading Wells to a spot in the team championships Saturday.
They were looking to stamp tickets to Saturday's state team championships at Natanis in Vassalboro. Along with the team qualifier, there was individual qualifying for the state tournament Oct. 19, also at Natanis.
The SMAA played at Natanis while the Western Maine Conference played at Willowdale in Scarborough. At both sites, golfers had to contend with wind and rain.
In the SMAA, league divisional winners Greely (northern), Falmouth (central) and Marshwood (southern) had already qualified for the state tournament. That left three spots open and they went to Gorham, Thornton Academy and Deering.
The divisional winners were in the team competition just the same and Falmouth won with a score of 324. Gorham was second at 326, followed by Thornton (335), Greely (339), Marshwood (346) and Deering (346).
Deering nosed out Cheverus (348), Portland (349) and Scarborough (352) for the final spot.
Deering was a bit of a surprise. The Rams have a losing record in league play but Coach Bill Goodman said his players have been improving every week.
"Their scores kept improving each week," said Goodman. "This season has been one of the most satisfying in that respect."
Deering missed qualifying a year ago.
Twenty-one golfers from the SMAA qualified for the individual tournament, led by Chris Billings of Cheverus who shot a 73.
Will Barlock of Deering was next with a 77.
AT THE WMC qualifying, four teams advanced for the state tournament -- Cape Elizabeth, the medalist with a score of 325, followed by York (345), Wells (359) and Yarmouth (361).
Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth was a medalist with a 75, followed by Nick Audet of Wells with a 77.
Yarmouth was led by Monica Austin's 82. Austin played from the same tees as the boys, making her score even more impressive. In the state team championship, boys and girls will also play from the same tees.
"We're very happy about getting in," said Yarmouth Coach Greg Baker. "We'll do the best we can on Saturday."
The Clippers started the season 0-6 in matches but won their last four.
AUSTIN HAS BEEN a steady player for Yarmouth the last three seasons. She has improved steadily, highlighted by strong play this summer. She finished second in the state women's amateur and was on the Maine team that played in the Women's USGA state team championship last month in Ohio.
At the Western Maine qualifier for the girls' state individual tournament last week, Austin was a medalist with an 80. Her teammate, Grace King ,was second with an 86.
This Saturday's team state championships are in classes A, B and C.
The individual state tournament will crown a boys' and girls' state champion.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: