WEB: Pinecrest Wins State 4-A Golf Title
Pinecrest High School roared back from a nine-stroke deficit Tuesday to claim the state 4-A boys' golf championship at Pinehurst No. 6.
Sparked by medalist Jack Fields' 4-under 67, the Patriots took dead aim at first-day leader and two-time defending state champion Green Hope on its way to claiming the first championship in the school's history. Green Hope posted an opening round four-man total of 287, while Pinecrest sputtered to an opening 296 in windy, gusty conditions Monday.
Tuesday dawned with the sun shining, and the Patriots on fire, especially Fields, who would claim medalist honors with a 71-67 -- 138 total. But Fields was far from the only hero for Pinecrest.
"I just wanted to shoot under par to help my team," said Fields, a senior. "It was a good day."
A good day translated into a 290 second-day total for the Patriots, while Green Hope skied to a 309, relegating the Raleigh school to a third-place finish. Pinecrest took first with a 586 total, outdistancing second-place finisher Providence by six shots.
"They deserve it," said Patriot coach Sandy Sackmann. "These kids have worked so hard for four years -- not only the four seniors, Jack Fields, John Gillespie, Russell Burke, Patrick Barrett -- but everybody on the team."
Barrett was a perfect example of the tenacious second-day attack by the Patriots. He struggled all day, entering the 15th hole of the day at 9 over. With one good swing of the club, the senior started a four-hole birdie binge that helped him end the day with a 75. He shot a 73 the first day.
"I was trying to find anything that worked because nothing was working," Barrett said. "Nothing was going well, I hadn't hit a green in six holes. Then on the par-5 sixth (his 15th hole), I hit one to about 5 feet and made the putt. That kind of got me going."
Burke provided a consistent force for the Patriots, going 75-74 -- 149 for the two days.
Another hero for the Patriots was Gillespie, the team's sixth player, who was paired in the final group with Green Hope's Michael Marshburn, who led after the first round with a 70. Marshburn would soar to a 77, while Gillespie recorded a 74, tied for the best round of his career.
"I noticed a big crowd following us," Gillespie said when asked if he knew where his team stood. "I didn't really know what the situation was."
It was just a crowd drawn to the spirited rally by a group of Patriots gunning for a state championship.
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