MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. - Freshman Jeff Hensler answered the challenge of playing in the No. 2 slot in the Marietta lineup and earned medalist honors with a 1-over par 36 as the Tigers defeated Parkersburg South and Parkersburg High in Wednesday's tri-meet at Woodridge Golf Club.
"Jeff has played between two and four - I like to mix the guys up every once in a while to get them to play against different competition," Marietta coach John Doughty said. "What Jeff did today doesn't surprise me. I've seen him play and he is very capable."
In the final installment of three tri-meets between the three schools, Marietta completed its second victory of the series with a team score of 159. Behind a 38 from Alex Schreckengost and a 39 from Adeena Shears, Parkersburg South took second at 161. Parkersburg High brought in the rear at 167.
Special to The Times
High’s Nick Thieman putts during a tri-match at Woodridge Golf Club Wednesday. Thieman carded a 43 as the Tigers won.
A total of four golfers broke 40, including Marietta senior Jared Hammons, who fought through some illness to finish at 38. Rounding out the scoring for the Tigers were Garrett Bertram at 42 and Nick Thieman at 43.
With a pair of individuals out of the starting lineup, Parkersburg South received valuable contributions from its final two golfers of the afternoon as Chase Porter and Noah Smith both shot 42. A triple-bogey on No. 9 prevented Smith - a last-minute replacement from breaking 40.
"Noah got in when Mason Winans got sick," South coach Sherry Morris said. "It took three phone calls to three different phone numbers to get him in. He played well."
Parkersburg High coach Don Snider juggled his lineup to a certain degree and inserted Austin Davis into the No. 1 position. The sophomore finished with a 42 to go along with a pair of 41s from Lucas Prine and Michael West, along with a 42 from Alec Milhoan.
"I thought my kids played OK," Snider said. "They could be fatigued (from playing three straight days). They were missing a lot of putts."
Hensler can attest to those putting woes after missing a 4-footer for par on the seventh hole. His scorecard contained just one other bogey to go along with six pars and a birdie.
The highlight of his round occurred on the 330-yard fourth hole.
"I hit my drive just a little left and I had a bad lie - it was like in a divot," Hensler said. "Then I hit it onto the fringe and made the putt from about 17 feet."
Hensler and his Tiger teammates will get another opportunity to hook up with their West Virginia rivals since the three coaches agreed to continue the series next season.
"I like the rivalry," Doughty said.
At Woodridge Golf Club
Front nine (par 35)
Team scores: Marietta 159, Parkersburg South 161, Parkersburg High 167
Medalist: Jeff Hensler, Marietta, 36
Marietta (76-15): Jeff Hensler 36, Jared Hammons 38, Garrett Bertram 42, Nick Thieman 43, Max Fitzgerald 44, Joe Broughton 45
Parkersburg South (73-52): Alex Schreckengost 38, Adeena Shears 39, Chase Porter 42, Noah Smith 42, Travis Bailey 44, Garrett Dailey 48
Parkersburg High (69-58-2): Lucas Prine 41, Michael West 41, Austin Davis 42, Alec Milhoan 42, Lauryn Davidson 43, Ian McElroy 48
Next match: Marietta at Sciota Country Club, Saturday; Ripley and Roane County vs. Parkersburg, today at Parkersburg Country Club; Parkersburg South at OVAC, today