By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
The way North Marion golf coach Chance Hearn sees it, East Fairmont won’t be easy to take down in the Big 10 Championships.
"East is definitely the team to beat,” he said. “Just look at their record. Look at the depth on their team and the caliber of players that they have.”
The Bees proved it Friday at Green Hills Country Club. They shot a 157 as a team to defeat Hearn’s North Marion Huskies (169) and the Fairmont Senior Polars (175) in the Marion County Championship.
Brennon Vincent led the way for the Bees with a low score of 35 on nine holes to earn medalist honors.
“Brennon had a great day. And I expected that.” East Fairmont coach Bill Malone said. “Brennon is a very good golfer. He’s playing well right now.”
Vincent shot par on seven of the nine hole. But the two exceptions on the rain-soaked course helped to seal the victory.
Vincent was up three strokes on Fairmont Senior’s Bailey Mohr heading into hole No. 7. But his bogey and Mohr’s birdie closed the gap to just a single shot.
Vincent responded on the next hole, however, with a birdie on No. 8 to put himself up two strokes and followed it up with a clutch par putt on No. 9 to seal the victory.
“I knew (Mohr) was only one stroke behind me after seven. It meant a lot to get one stroke up on him,” Vincent said of his birdie putt.
Jacob Morell (40), Hayden Stewart (41) and Mason Weese (41) also scored toward East Fairmont’s team score. Malone said the tightly bunched scores are typical of the Bees’ season.
“That’s the strength of this team,” Malone said. “There’s been very few matches where we’ve counted the same four scores
“We’ve won maybe three matches by one stroke. Our depth has been the reason for that.”
Mohr, who has been the medalist in four of Fairmont Senior’s previous five matches, finished second with a 37. Gage Hannah (39), Zach Phillips (49) and Cody Brubaker (50) rounded out Fairmont Senior’s top four.
Fairmont Senior coach Luke Corley said he talked with his team about the mental side of the game before Friday’s match, specifically how to avoid getting frustrated and how to forget about bad shots. He said it paid off, especially for his top scorers.
“Golf is 60 percent mental and the other 40 skill,” Corley said.
For North Marion, Colton Holder (40), Travis Smith (41), Matt Martin (43) and Dustin Fisher (45) turned in low scores.
While he was disappointed in his team’s overall performance, Hearn was please with Smith, a senior who is in just his first season on the golf team.
“Travis Smith’s score, all things being equal is amazing.”
All three Marion County teams will be back in action Monday at 8 a.m. for the Big 10 Championship at Bridgeport Country Club, where East Fairmont will try to prove Hearn’s predictions were correct.
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.