FAIRMONT — The Callaway Junior Tour High School Series wrapped up on Monday with the fourth and final match of the series at Parkersburg Country Club, and Fairmont Senior saved its best performance for last.
The Polar Bears shot a 22-over par to take runner-up on the day, finishing just three shots behind George Washington at 19-over. The quality performance by the Polar Bears, in fact, may have vaulted them into second place behind the Patriots for the entire series, FSHS coach Luke Corley said on Monday. The series standings will be finalized today, according to Corley, who said FSHS stood a “great chance” of finishing as the series runner-up.
“I feel we did an outstanding job during the series,” said Corley, whose Polar Bears were led by Clark Craig throughout the series, with Gannon Satterfield and Zack Morgan also contributing to the team’s score in each of the four matches. “It’s a great experience for the players because they get to compete against some of the bigger Class AAA schools. We get a good measurement on where we are at this point in the season.”
The runner-up finish to cap the series at Parkersburg Country Club was the team’s best of the four matches, with the Polar Bears finishing tied for fifth in the series opener at Bel Meadow Golf Club, fourth in the second match at Oglebay Resort’s Jones Course, and fifth again in the third match at Edgewood Country Club.
Craig was again FSHS’s top finisher Monday en route to shooting his best round of the series with an even-par 73 to finish runner-up by one stroke to GW’s Joseph Kalaskey at a 1-under 72. Craig notched an impressive six birdies in his runner-up round, scoring three apiece on the front and back nines.
He started out the day 1-under through four after making birdie on the 526-yard Par 5 No. 3. Following a double bogey on No. 5, he responded with birdies on two of the next four holes, closing out the front nine at an even-par 36. Craig dropped a combined three strokes on the next four holes, but went on a tear to finish his day as he went 3-under on the final five holes, birdieing Nos. 14, 16 and 18.
For the series, Craig finished 1st, 5th, tied for 3rd and 2nd respectively, shooting a 3-over 75, 7-over 78, 4-over 75, and even-par 73 for the series.
Morgan also played his best round of golf in the series, wedging his way into a tie for 10th overall with an 8-over 81. Morgan converted a pair of birdies on the front nine, taking advantage of a pair of Par 5s on the 526-yard No. 3 and 509-yard No. 6 to finish with a 4-over 40 on the front. Morgan didn’t score any birdies on the back nine, but stabilized his round with five pars to finish at a 4-over 41.
Satterfield was the team’s third qualifying scorer at a 14-over 87. Satterfield shot a 9-over 45 on the front nine before finding his game on the back nine as he converted par on five of the nine holes en route to a 5-over 42.
“Clark played a masterful even par round today, and Zack stepped up big for us; he hit the ball well, but he left a few putts out there,” Corley said.
“Overall I thought we got a little bit better as a team with each event,” Corley continued. “We have proven to ourselves that we can compete with anyone and gained some confidence. We just have to keep working hard and improve a little bit at a time.
“At this point in the season, I am very pleased with our performance thus far, but our job isn’t done. I’m excited to see where we can finish at the end of the season.”
North Marion also competed in the finale Monday at Parkersburg, with Chance Hearn’s Huskies finishing 15th overall at 54-over.
NMHS senior Michael Harris led the way for the Huskies for the second straight match in the series, finishing 12th overall with a 9-over 82. Harris started his round with three straight pars and pars on four of his first five holes en route to a front nine score of a 5-over 41. Harris then notched pars on six holes on the back nine with a 4-over 41.
Also contributing to the Huskies’ three-man total were Dylan Runner and Rylan Gump. Runner finished with a score of 93 as he tallied six pars in his round, while Gump shot a 98, earning par on the 539-yard Par 5 No. 10. Bryce Rhoades competed for North Marion as well, shooting a 98 to match Gump.