Polk County's 2014 golf team. Front row, from left, Daniel Weathers, Jaron Bontrager, Tanner Garrett, Andrew Suber-Brown, RJ Weathers. Second row, from left, Coach Trey Dusenbury, Zane Capozzi, Will Ballard, Coach Jim Hemphill. Not pictured, Colby Painter.

Wolverine golfers finish second in rain-shortened conference tournament

Polk County finished in a tie for second and placed two players on the all-conference squad in the rain-shortened Western Highlands Conference golf tournament.

The tournament was originally scheduled to have a second round on Tuesday, but inclement weather forced the cancellation of the final round.

Playing on its home course at Mountain Glen Golf Club in Newland, Avery County posted a team total of 325 to earn the conference crown. Polk County and Hendersonville finished tied for second, 27 shots back at 352.

“We played our best round of the season (Monday),” said Polk County coach Trey Dusenbury. “Everybody seems to be peaking at the right time.”

Hendersonville’s Alex Yarborough earned medalist honors with a score of 73. Avery’s Chance Watson took second with a 75.

Polk County’s Will Ballard fired a 79 and RJ Weathers had an 86 to earn all-conference berths.

“I wish we could have gotten the second round in to see if Will could have a shot at catching Alex,” Dusenbury said. “He’s really grown a lot in the past two or three weeks. His game is coming together. He wants to make a run at qualifying in the regionals and making it to state. His swing is very close right now. He’s hitting the ball great.”

Sharing honors with Hendersonville as the top 2A team in the tournament, Polk County earned a spot in the 2A Western Regional on May 6 at Catawba Country Club in Hickory. For Dusenbury and Jim Hemphill, in their first year as coaches of the squad, going to the regional is the culmination of a lot of hard work this season.

“It’s been enjoyable. We’ve enjoyed working with the boys,” Dusenbury said. “Everybody has been working hard and improving.

“We’ve had some days where it seemed like we took a couple of steps back, but then we have a day like yesterday where we make big strides. We’ve been trying to teach them to play one shot at a time. The only thing they have any control over is the shot they’re about to play. We’ve also been trying to get them to see that every shot is important, each shot counts. We finish tied with Hendersonville and we were tied with them once earlier this year. It could come down to a short putt from the No. 4 man. Each shot matters. I think that has gotten through to them, that each shot can make a difference in the team format.”

Team Scores
1. Avery 325; 2. Hendersonville, Polk County 352; 4. Mitchell 369; 5. Owen 383; 6. Mountain Heritage 406; 7. Madison 450

Individual Leaders
Medalist: Alex Yarborough, Hendersonville, 73
2nd Individual: Chance Watson, Avery, 75

Polk County Scores
Will Ballard 79, RJ Weathers 86, Jaron Bontrager 93, Daniel Weathers 94, Tanner Garrett 97, Zane Capozzi 107