York Comprehensive High boys' golf coach Christopher Black was all smiles when he spoke with his team at the conclusion of Monday's Region 3-AAAA Tournament held at Spring Lake Country Club.
And rightfully so, considering the Cougars advanced to state championship play with a second-place finish in the grinding 36-hole event.
Pretournament favorite Fort Mill lived up to its billing with a cumulative team score of 600, solidifying the Yellow Jackets' first-place finish.
The host Cougars were next with a 643 team score, highlighted by sub-80 rounds from Ryan Brandenburg and Jacob Phillips. Brandenburg, who shot 76 in the first round and 77 in the second, made the all-region team.
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"I felt good hitting the ball today," he said. "A 36-hole tournament requires a lot of concentration."
Said Black to team members gathered in front of the leader board, "I am proud of you. You played great."
York's individual scores: Brandenburg, 76-77, 153; Phillips, 79-75, 154; Wade Ramsey, 85-80, 165; Luke Lancaster, 84-87, 171; Daley Ballard, 92-92, 184.
The Cougars will compete in state competition May 5 and 6 at Furman University.
Blue Eagles finish fourth
The Clover Blue Eagles finished fourth in the tournament with a 654 total, a scant four strokes behind third-place Nation Ford.
Andrew Ward made the all-region team and finished tied with Rock Hill's Eric Eberspeaker for the lowest non-qualifying score. Eberspeaker advanced to individual state competition by winning a sudden death playoff.
"We had good scores from our top three golfers today, which is the way it's been all year," CHS coach Dudley Lybrand said.
Clover's individual scores: Ward, 77-76, 153; Ethan Parrish, 79-78, 157; Lucas Harper, 81-80, 161; Trey Croom, 96-89, 185; Brandon Harrell, 94 first round; Logan McAlister, 103, second round.