Golf teams battle tough conditions before play is halted at District VII tourney

Tuesday’s District VII Golf Tournament, which also serves as the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship, ran into a water problem at Mountain Branch Golf Course in Joppa.

Heavy rains moved in on an already damp course with most players having played 11 or 12 holes and play was suspended. The hopes of finishing Tuesday were just that, as play was halted for the day by 4:30 p.m.

Play will resume on October 10 at 2 p.m. All players are trying to qualify for the Maryland State Golf Tournament to be held October 22-24 at the University of Maryland Golf Course.

Male players need a score of 83 or better and females need to shoot 91 or better.

Tuesday’s wet grounds made an already tough golf course that much tougher.

“They came prepared to play, they hit balls to get loose, they putted, they were ready to go and the golf course was already pretty wet,” C. Milton Wright coach and tournament director John Evans said. “We had to change our conditions of play, we had to modify them to allow them to clean their golf ball, place their golf ball in a dry position so they could execute shots from there. So it was difficult from the beginning.”

Both defending champions and both juniors, Paula Moon of Patterson Mill and Will Creery of Fallston, were back and like the others, were battling the less than desirable playing conditions.

Moon was sitting at plus-4 through 11 holes. “I’m so glad I’m four over right now because the conditions right now are so bad,” Moon said. “I was stepping puddles and there was standing water everywhere. Even the greens, they were like fast or slow, but I’m pretty proud of having four over right now.”

Creery was part of the lead group and he was about to putt for bogey on the 12th green when play was stopped. Creery played the first nine plus-3 and then with pars on 10 and 11, went to 12 just three over.

“It was pretty bad,” Creery said of the conditions. “On 12, it was okay until it started to get really heavy and my club started to slip out of my hands, I was lucky to have my three wood in my hand. It wasn’t a good day to play.”

Jake Nemeth, a North Harford senior, like Creery, was facing a bogey putt on 12 when play was halted. Nemeth was sitting at six over.

The other two in the group, Patterson Mill senior Mike Montgomery and Bel Air senior Josh Stocum, both finished the 12th hole and both carded bogeys. Stocum sits at plus six and Montgomery is at plus 8.

“Pretty disappointing that we couldn’t get out early, so you know on the 10th we have a great day,” Creery said. “Hopefully it’s going to be sunny and we’re gonna pay well all as a team.”

Teams are also competing to win the district title and or qualify for the state tourney. The team qualifying score is 336 or better.

Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports

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