Jackets 3rd in golf season opener

HARRISVILLE, W. Va. – Down a man, Roane County didn’t miss a beat.

Tuesday afternoon in their season-opener, the Raiders successfully defended their championship at the Collins-Metz Memorial Golf Tournament by compiling a team score of 296 at North Bend Golf Course. Sophomore Cole Moore placed runner-up after shooting a 3-under par 69, while Alston Spears (71) and Hunter Simmons (77) each earned a spot on the 10-member all-tournament team.

Caleb Moore made his high school debut as an incoming freshman and rounded out the Raiders’ scoring after carding a 79.

One of Roane County’s starters – sophomore Cam Moore – missed the event since he was busy competing in the second round of the 94th West Virginia Amateur at the Greenbrier Resort.

“It feels very good to start off on a good note,” said Roane County coach Jim Kendall, who led the golf program to a Class AA state title a year ago. “The kids played all summer and worked hard at it. When you do that, it’s going to pay off in the end.

“It never hurts one bit when your freshman shoots a 79. It’s probably going to be the Moore show a lot this year.”

Without Cam Moore out the lineup, St. Marys nearly had enough firepower but fell short by three strokes. Blue Devil sophomore Drew Wells, who placed runner-up last year at regionals, found almost every fairway with his drives on the back nine and birdied three holes to go with one eagle as part of a 5-under 31.

That strong finish enabled Wells to earn medalist honors with a 67. Two teammates – Coleman Lamp (73) and Robbie Harper (75) – were recognized on the all-tournament team.

A birdie on the 10th hole followed by an eagle on the very next hole catapulted Wells into the lead.

“On No. 11, I hit my drive down the middle then hit a 4-iron to about 20 feet and hooked a putt in for eagle,” said Wells, who had just one bogey during his round.

“On the back nine, I was just hitting it down the middle, and hitting my irons really well,” Wells said. “I was striking the ball. But I didn’t get overaggressive trying to shoot lower. I was playing for par.”

A few hiccups prevented Cole Moore from closing the gap between himself and Wells.

“I bogeyed some easy holes – I bogeyed the par 5 seventh hole and that’s reachable in two even if you top it,” Cole Moore said. “I had a few three-putts, but I scrambled really well.

“Actually, this is the best I’ve shot on this course. My previous best was a 78.”

Rounding out the all-tournament team were Parkersburg Catholic’s Ben Collie (70); Williamstown’s Mac McCormick (72), Ty Adkins (75) and Chandler Weber (76); and Ritchie County’s Riley Allen (74) and Ben Knight (74).