VIENNA, W.Va. - On the verge of something special, both Marietta's Jared Hammons and the Roane County golf team came up just short in their quest to join the winner's circle at Monday's Parkersburg Country Club Invitational.
Three days after capturing medalist honors at the Washington County Invitational, Hammons nearly duplicated that effort after turning in a round of 3-under par 70. Standing in his way was George Washington senior Will Evans, who birdied seven holes and finished at 6-under 67.
"I thought my score would definitely be pretty close to winning," Hammons said. "What Will shot is a great score. I did all I could all day. You have to respect what Will did."
KERRY PATRICK Special to The Times
Waterford’s Brandyn Offenberger chips off the 18th green in the Parkersburg Country Club Invitational Monday.
Evans' low round of the day enabled George Washington to not only capture first place in the team standings at 228, but also claim the overall championship in the Top Flite Junior Tour's High School Series.
Since the series began in 2007, the Tri-State Cup has belonged in the hands of a Class AAA program. That almost changed this year.
With one stop remaining at PCC, Roane County from the Class AA ranks sat in first place. Second-place Wheeling Park did not compete in yesterday's meet, so only George Washington and University remained in the chase.
Top Flite Junior Tour
High School Series
Parkersburg Country Club Invitational
Team scores: 1. George Washington 'A' 228; 2. University 230; 3. (tie) Roane County and Marietta "A' 231; 5. Charleston Catholic 238; 6. Parkersburg 240; 7. Bridgeport 241; 8. George Washington 'B' 243; 9. (tie) Warren 'A' and North Marion 246; 11. Winfield 248; 12. Parkersburg South 'A' 249; 13. Buffalo 250; 14. Ritchie County 252; 15. Elkins 254; 16. Belpre 255; 17. Morgantown 262; 18. Parkersburg South 'B' 265; 19. Waterford 266; 20. Brooke 269; 21. Williamstown 270; 22. Parkersburg Catholic 277; 23. Warren 'B' 277; 24,. Marietta 'B' 284; 25. Wirt County 293; 26. Herbert Hoover 308
Medalist: Will Evans, George Washington 'A', 67
George Washington 'A': Will Evans 67, Kris Webster 80, Drew Call 81, Sutin Florence 82
University: Trent McPherson 73, Eric Wirth 78, Cale Wheeler 79, John Matheny 107
Roane County: Cole Moore 74, Alston Spears 77, Camden Moore 80, Hunter Simmons 85
Marietta 'A': Jared Hammons 70, Jeffrey Hensler 79, Garrett Bertram 82, Nick Thieman 82
Charleston Catholic: Christian Casignal 75, Aaron Persily 79, Jordan Covelli 84, Allie Persily 91
Parkersburg: Ryan Anderson 79, Austin Davis 79, Lauryn Davidson 82, Lucas Prine 89
Bridgeport: Brent Rhoades 78, Marco Oliverio 78, Austin Williams 85, James Goots 99
George Washington 'B': Harry Basile 80, Sam Roncaglione 80, Kyle Bird 83, Matthew Nelson 85
Warren 'A': Adam Lang 80, Michael Sams 81, Zach McKenna 85, Steve Farley 93
North Marion: Cameron Wilson 80, Caleb Lee 83, Austin Swiger 83, Ryan Powell 84
Winfield: Josh Bumgarner 77, Jed Powell 83, Alexi Levock 88, Jonah Skiles 93
Parkersburg South 'A': Garrett Dailey 79, Trent McCutcheon 84, Alex Schreckengost 86, Adeena Shears 90
Buffalo: Cory Hosher 76, Blaik Caplinger 86, Bradley Harris 88, Drew Patton 99
Ritchie County: Sydney Snodgrass 76, Riley Allen 85, Benjamin Knight 91, Audrey Mossor 97
Elkins: Braden Hammond 82, Kollin Hopwood 84, Alex Baird 88, Kelsi Trippett 97
Belpre: Sam Petty 78, Brennen Ferrell 88, Alex Perry 89, Hayden Plummer 100
Morgantown: Hunter Woods 79, Tara Hanson 90, Jesse Evanto 93, Katelyn Dahmer 96
Parkersburg South 'B': Travis Bailey 82, Mason Winans 91, Noah Smith 92, Sam Boso 94
Waterford: Brandyn Offenberger 78, Brent Ginther 93, Cameron Bosner 95, Randee Seevers 98
Brooke: Logan Lojszcyk 84, Austin Schambach 90, Cody Dodd 95, Brice Hickey 99
Williamstown: Mac McCormick 77, Chandler Weber 96, Ty Adkins 97, Chandler Weber DQ
Parkersburg Catholic: Carson Weyer 90, Benjamin Collie 92, Andrew Nill 95, Abby Roberts 98
Warren 'B': Reece Patton 89, Mitchell Eddleblute 90, Alex Flesher 98, Frankie Marion 117
Marietta 'B': Joseph Broughton 87, Matt Fitzgerald 98, Max Fitzgerald 99, Tyler Haught 109
Wirt County: Caleb Ferguson 92, Seth Enoch 98, Darrin Roberts 103, Tristan Nichols 121
Herbert Hoover: Travis Gibson 88, Nick Calvert 110, Sam Teel 110, Tyler Braucher 120
As team scores were posted, Roane County coach James Kendall noticed his Raiders tied Marietta for third place at 231. At that point, he knew the inevitable. At the awards banquet, tournament officials announced a 50-point difference between George Washington and Roane County.
"Nothing to be ashamed of - we're right up there competing with Class AAA schools," Kendall said. "I'm very proud of my kids. They held it together for four tournaments.
"I never envisioned this. I figured we would be way back there."
University, behind all-tournament member Trent McPherson's 73, placed runner-up at 230. Spearheading Roane County's efforts was freshman Cole Moore (74), who joined Charleston Catholic's Christian Casignal (75) on the all-tournament team.
"Our kids are kind of disappointed because a couple of them knew they could play better, and they have played better," Kendall said. "We have a lot of time before the end of season. We just need to keep playing at the same level and carry it on through regional, and into the state tournament," Kendall said.
The field consisted of 26 schools, including Parkersburg taking sixth place at 240. Ryan Anderson and Austin Davis paced the Big Reds with a pair of 79s. Adam Lang's 80 led Warren's 'A' squad a ninth-place showing at 246.
The day, however, belonged to Evans, who claimed medalist honors in three of the four high school series events. Earlier this year at Parkersburg Country Club, he advanced to the finals of the West Virginia Golf Association's Junior Match Play Championships before losing to Wheeling Park's.
"I've always been comfortable at this course," said Evans after recording three birdies on the front side and another four on the back nine, including consecutive birdies on 16 and 17. He just missed closing out with three in a row after his 20-foot putt on No. 18 lipped out.
In addition to turning in a bogey-free round, Hammons converted a 50-foot putt on No. 5 for one of his three birdies.
"I'm finally getting things to come together as far as my ball-striking," Hammons said. "The last couple of weeks, I've worked really hard on my short game and that's really started to pay off."