Cold weather and brisk winds have a way of playing havoc with the golf game.
Those were just the conditions that greeted the Marietta Tigers and Warren Warriors as they competed in the sectional tournament at Valley View Golf Course Monday afternoon.
Brisk autumn temperatures brought the scores posted by golfers across the board up from what could be expected on a sunny August day, but when the golfers stepped off the course the Marietta Tigers were sectional champions.
"I have to say we were very consistent. We posted four of the six sub-80 rounds. I am pleased there. Like anything else you get into tournament play your goal is just to davance on. We did manage to do that. I think we're a better team than 315," said Marietta golf coach Joe Matheny.
Marietta claimed the sectional title by 16 strokes over second place Athens while the Warriors finished in third.
The top two teams from the sectional advance to next week's district tournament at Apple Valley near Mount Vernon.
Athens' Ky Crisp claimed medalist honors with the best round of the day, a 5-over par 76.
Marietta was able to post three 79s and a 78 from four of its five golfers, but none of those scores was exactly what Matheny and his team had expected.
"It was cool and windy so scores will go up a little with that," Matheny said.
Jared Hammons led the Tigers with his round of 78 after he posted a 40 on the front nine, where Marietta started, before turning in a 38 on the back nine.
That round was one stroke better than turned in by Nick Huggins, Ian Smith and Derek Howe.
Each of those four Marietta golfers lowered their score on the back nine from what they shot on the front nine by a couple of strokes while Eric Mullins shot a 42 on both to card an 84 for the day.
"We got off to a slow start on the front nine and then the kids adjusted pretty well and played two to three shots better on the back nine," Matheny said.
While the Tigers were able to advance as a team to next week's district tournament, which will take place on Tuesday, the Warriors had a little bit of a battle on their hands individually.
In addition to the top two teams, the top two individuals not on one of the advancing teams are also given the chance to advance to the district.
Sheridan's Tobias Martindale claimd one of those sspots with an 80, but the second spot required a playoff to solve a rather unique situation.
That's because the Warriors had three golfers tie for the right to advance to the district with identical rounds of 85.
"It's kind of weird you see three guys (on the same team) have to have a playoff to see who goes on, but they didn't qualify as a team," said Warren golf coach Nathan Evans.
Zack McKenna, Nik Gibson and Ian Zoeller all carded rounds of 85 for Warren and were forced to have a playoff on hole No. 1 to determine who advanced.
Zoeller ended up parring that hole while McKenna and Gibson both bogeyed, giving Zoeller the trip to districts.
"I'm happy, really happy for him. He's been very consistent all year and he's worked hard. I know he probably wasn't totally happy with his score today but it was good enough to get him through," Evans said.
Both Marietta and Zoeller start early during the district tournament with the Tigers in the first flight of teams to get started at hole No. 1 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Zoeller will tee off on the back nine, starting at hole No. 10, at approximately 10:28 a.m.
That early start may be a benefit for the Tigers, especially if they can put together the round they know they're capable of.
"If we can post a nice score as one of the first teams in that can put a little bit of nerves in the other teams," Matheny explained. "I like the idea that we're going out early."
For Zoeller, the lone Warrior, the district tournament will be a time of acclimation to a new environment and if he can just play his game and not get overwhelmed Evans likes his chances to post a solid score.
Now the challenge for both the Tiger golfers and Zoeller becomes performing on the big stage.
"Now we get the opportunity to go to the district and the round we were hoping to shoot today, maybe we'll shoot next week," Matheny said.
In district play already, the Belpre Golden Eagles under coach Scott Miller saw their season come to a close with an 11th place finish at River Greens Golf Course.
Todd Griffith shot an 89 for Belpre while Brennen Ferrell had a 95, Jesse Whittington a 98, Bryce Pittenger a 101 and Devin Daniell a 104.