2017 season-best 2-over 74 good for 1-stroke win. Trenton bests Cameron for team crown of Thursday, April 20, Chillicothe Invitational Tournament
Junior Hayden Montgomery on Thursday (April 20, 2017) became the first Chillicothe High School boys’ golfer in 11 years to win the individual title of the school’s annual tournament, shooting a 74.
Montgomery’s 2-over-par score for 18 holes left him one shot ahead of Lathan Croy of team champion Trenton for individual medalist honors in the 24th-annual Chillicothe Invitational Tournament at Green Hills Golf Course.
The Chillicothe 11th grader is the first Hornet to claim the tourney’s individual honors since Logan Gilliland did so with a 69 as a sophomore in 2006. Montgomery had entered the tournament – CHS’ second and last home-course outing of 2017 – owning a 42.5 average per nine holes (85 per 18) through the Hornets’ first six outings (four dual matches and two tourneys).
“It was easily his best round of the year,” Jim Wheeler, CHS head coach, reflected, aware the junior – a 2016 state-tournament participant – had not had a score better than a 41 for a dual match or 82 for a tourney previously in 2017.
“I don’t know if it was (playing) the home course a second time in three days or if it was just ‘time.’ His history with us is he builds momentum as the season goes along and is at his best late in the season. That’s what you want to do.”
Montgomery told the C-T his round included six birdies, but also six bogeys and one double-bogey, so he kept his total score around par throughout play on the coolly-mild day with the typical GHGC wind.
“It was probably a 2-clubs wind, which is about normal out here,” Wheeler said, referring to the course’s location mostly along a hilltop regularly having it exposed to some wind.
Wheeler said the bit of overnight rain Chillicothe received preceding Thursday’s play did not impact how the course played.
While Montgomery enjoyed an outstanding individual day, Chillicothe’s team was an also-ran in the team competition, which was not unexpected, given the Hornets have only three experienced golfers this spring.
Their other three scoring players for the tourney were senior Peyton Moritz (94), senior Trevor Bowling (110), and frosh C. J. Williams (114). The fifth member of its varsity lineup – Clayton Walker, who only this week returned to action after some recent surgery – shot 131.
Moritz did have a birdie on the second hole he played, coach Wheeler noted.
The four lowest CHS scores added up to 392, which left the Hornets 10th among the 13 full teams in the tournament. A couple of schools had an individual or two participate, as well.
The team total was Chillicothe’s second-best of the year.
The lone CHS junior-varsity player to take part – Luke Wine – actually had the Hornets’ third-best score – 101.
With his season-best round, Montgomery cut his per-9 average by just over one full shot to 41.4 heading into the team’s next scheduled action – Monday at the St. Joseph Country Club in the Bishop LeBlond Invitational Tournament.
Trenton’s team title was built largely on the strength of the play of its top three golfers.
Croy, No. 2 in the THS lineup, finished alone in second, individually, with his 75, one swing away from matching Montgomery’s medalist score.
The Bulldogs also had the fourth- and sixth-best rounds, those coming from No. 1 player Nate Swann (82) and No. 3 Corbyn Guile (83).
Rounding out THS’ scoring quartet was No. 4 Luke Lewis with a 94.
The strength at the top of the Bulldogs’ lineup allowed it to offset a more-balanced effort turned in by Cameron, which had the fifth-best score of the day in Spencer Teel’s 82 and had four players break 90. Considering their other entrant carded a 91, the Dragons would have topped Trenton by 11 strokes had all five scores been counted.
The third-place individual was Hamilton’s Ethan Green, who posted a 78, leading the Hornets to fourth place in the team standings. Caden Brown had an 87, LaTroy Harper an 89, and Quinn Brown a 95, giving Hamilton a 349 team total.