The annual Bob McLelland Metro Golf Tournament will tee off today with a 1 p.m. start at the Hunting Hills Country Club. The two-day event will move to Blue Hills for a noon start on Thursday.
Both the Lord Botetourt and James River teams will be involved in the 12-team tournament. While Lord Botetourt is off to a great start in Blue Ridge District play, Cavalier coach Todd Smith doesn’t think his team has much of a chance to win the Metro. Blacksburg was the Group 3A state champion last year, and the Bruins have their entire lineup returning.
“If we can finish in the upper echelon I’ll be happy,” said Smith. “Blacksburg and Hidden Valley are loaded, and Franklin County also has a very good team. I can’t see any of the others beating out those three.”
James River will be one of the smaller schools in the tournament, but the Knights have been traditionally competitive.
“We are familiar with both courses that the Metro will be played at this year, Hunting Hills and Blue Hills,” said River coach Donna Cox. “Tyler Lester, Tyler Brown and Mitchell Boone all play those courses pretty good, so I’m expecting good scores from them both days.”
Brett Pennington of LB could also be among the leaders. The junior lefty is off to a good start after two rounds of Blue Ridge District play. Brett was the medalist at the round hosted by the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club last week, then finished second in a round at Ole Monterey. Although his two-round score is one stroke better than Byrd’s Bryce Corkery, Brett is second in the BRD point system.
Botetourt won both rounds as a team. At the BG&SC, Pennington led the field with a 70 to Corkery’s 72. Also scoring for LB were Kyle Lograsso at 80, Joe Crump at 81 and Kaitlyn Mosdell at 83 for a total of 314. Staunton River was second at 334, followed by Northside at 353, Byrd at 355 and William Fleming at 324.
On Thursday the tour moved to Ole Monterey and Corkery was medalist at 73, followed by Pennington at 74. Cassidy Chambers of Staunton River also shot a 74.
Botetourt had a team score of 309 to 320 for Staunton River, increasing the Cavs’ two-round lead by 31 strokes. Lograsso and Crump shot 78 each and Mosdell had a 79.
Both LB and River were scheduled to play in the Heritage Invitational at London Downs in Lynchburg on Monday, but that event was rained out. It attracts over 20 teams, and no makeup date was announced.
“With that many teams I don’t see how they could make it up,” said Smith.