Watts leads River at Metro, Hunnell shoots best score for LB

Lord Botetourt finished sixth and James River was eighth in the annual Bob McLelland Metro Golf Tournament at the Botetourt Country Club last week. This year’s tournament was a one-day event on Thursday, Aug. 12.

Blacksburg won the tournament with a four-man score of 290. The Bruins also had the low individual, as Ryan Mondy shot 69 for first overall. Parker Davis of Salem was second at even-par 71 and James River’s Korey Watts took third with a score of 72.

Korey Watts chips to the pin at the Botetourt Country Club. Photo by Brian Hoffman
Korey Watts chips to the pin at the Botetourt Country Club. Photo by Brian Hoffman

Watts, a sophomore, was the leader in the clubhouse for a while. He played in the first group and finished his round of 72 as the best in his foursome. After the second and thirds groups came in, Watts was still low man so he was looking good, as the players were seeded with the best golfers teeing off first.

Finally, in the fourth group, Mondy posted his 69, and Parker came in with the fifth group. Still, it was a nice round for Watts, who is considered one of the top high school golfers in the area.

“He was hitting his iron shots better and he really likes that course,” said River coach John Shotwell.

River shot a 329 as a team. The next best scorer for the Knights was first year golfer Tyler Duke, who came in at 84. Irina Boothe carded 88 and Colin Guilliams rounded out the scoring at 85.

Lyndsey Hunnell of Botetourt watches her drive. Photo by Brian Hoffman
Lyndsey Hunnell of Botetourt watches her drive. Photo by Brian Hoffman

“I was very pleased with our finish,” said Shotwell. “Irina had 10 three-putts, and if she could have cut that in half she would have had a good score.”

Another girl, Lyndsey Hunnell, had the low score for Lord Botetourt. The freshman was playing number four for LB, in the 10th foursome, but she came in with a strong 77, tied for 11th overall. Seven of the golfers ahead of Hunnell were from either Blacksburg or Salem, the top two teams.

“She played very well,” said LB coach Todd Smith. “Her putting was lights out.”

LB shot 322 as a team. Austin Broyles was second individually at 79, followed by Kris Hoffman at 82 and Ben Matthias at 84. The team score put LB in the top half of the 13 teams with a sixth place finish, but that wasn’t what Smith was hoping for.

“I was a little disappointed,” he said. “I thought we could have played better, especially since it was at the Botetourt Country Club. We just couldn’t get our putts to fall.”

Second place overall went to Salem with an even 300, followed by Hidden Valley at 311, Cave Spring at 316, and Franklin County at 320. Botetourt was next, the low score among four Blue Ridge District teams in the field. Alleghany was the only BRD team not in the Metro.

Botetourt is back in the district race this week. The BRD teams were at Mariners’ Landing in Moneta on Tuesday, and on Thursday the five district teams play at Ole Monterey. These are the third and fourth rounds of the five round season tournament, and LB took a 31-stroke lead over Northside into Tuesday’s round. A good week and Botetourt can bury the field.

“Hopefully, we’ll get back to playing like we did before the Metro,” said Smith.

James River was at Parry McCluer for a Pioneer District match on Tuesday. Most likely, Watts would not be able to play, as he was ill Monday and hoping to be back by Thursday’s district match at the Botetourt Country Club.

The Pioneer’s first match was held at Bath County last week and Parry McCluer had the low score of 167 for nine holes. The match was cut short due to the heat.

In the Pioneer, the host team plays against all the others and the visiting teams play only against the host. River shot a 176 and that was better than Bath at 186, so the Knights stood at 1-0 in district play.

This week, River goes head-to-head with Parry McCluer, as both teams are host schools. The Knights were at a decided disadvantage Tuesday with Watts on the shelf, so Thursday’s match at BCC will be a big one.

“If we can split with them this week I’ll be happy,” said Shotwell. “That would make us tied for first.”

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