East wins county golf title

East Davidson’s Wes Cline follows through on a par-3 tee shot during the Davidson County Golf Tournament on Monday at the Winding Creek Golf Course in Thomasville. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

THOMASVILLE | With one group still on the course in the midst of a driving rain, temperatures around 40 degrees and darkness fast approaching, Ledford golf coach John Ralls had a suggestion. Send a cart out to get them; or a dog sled team.

It was that kind of day at Winding Creek Golf Course on Monday, but East Davidson saw nothing but sunshine when it was over.

Junior Justin Wood shot a 3-over par 75 to win his second straight county title, sharing match medalist honors with teammate Wes Cline, as the Golden Eagles withstood the elements and soared to the Davidson County championship.

East shot a team score of 311 to easily slosh away from West Davidson, 328; Ledford, 330; North Davidson, 335; Central Davidson, 383; and Lexington, no score.

For East coach Justin Sink, it was a great day. He didn’t know exactly what to expect coming in, so seeing his group rise to the occasion was gratifying. “We knew West, North, Ledford and ourselves, we were all pretty even looking at the scores we’ve shot this year,” Sink said. “It definitely benefitted us to be at Winding Creek.

“It’s a little bit of an unusual course, so course knowledge helps a little bit. It tilted a little in our favor playing out here.”

As the scorecards came rolling in, the only real question that remained was how Cline and Wood would break their tie. They could go play another hole, come back the next day or, as Ralls suggested, thumb wrestle. Ultimately, they agreed to share the honor and stay inside where it was warm.

That was an hour after Wood came in off the course, bemoaning the fact that he lipped out a putt on 18 that would have made the difference. In the end, he was thrilled with winning his second straight championship. “It was hard, because I started 4-over after six holes,” Wood said. “I just kept with it, and concentrated a lot.

“I started making some pars, then started making a few birdies here and there. Just maintained my focus on what I was trying to do.”

Cline, who will play at Catawba next year, was equally happy with the day he had in such brutal conditions. “Last year, I finished right outside the top 12,” Cline said. “So it felt good to come in first this year.

“I normally go out and practice in the rain, so that didn’t really bother me out there. I felt great, and I was hitting the ball great, so I just stuck with it.”

The East senior said he only misplayed one hole; other than that, he was dead on. “I gave away a stroke on No. 9,” he said. “I hit my drive straight down the middle, had 90 yards out and just chunked it. Made bogey on the hole.

“But then I picked up some strokes on 3 and 4, I birdied both of them.”

Wood, who has a year left and will certainly be hoping for a three-peat next spring, couldn’t have been happier. “It feels great,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way I played today, I held myself together. That’s something I’ve had trouble with, but I’m getting a lot better at it.”

Sink couldn’t contain his excitement either. “It’s a great day for us, outstanding,” he added. “It was just a good day for East golf today.”

Other counting scores for East were Zach Brown, 80, and Scott Swaim, 81.

Joining those four from East on the all-county team were Andrew Kahn (77) and Nathan Curry (81) from West Davidson, Anthony Bradley (81) and Cam Weis (81) from Ledford, and Cody Hill (80) and Matthew Bibb (82) from North Davidson.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.