By Marny Hendrick
CHINA GROVE — South Rowan carried the day but the Statesville Greyhounds notched their fifth consecutive North Piedmont Conference golf title sWednesday afternoon at the The Warrior Golf Club.
Individual honors went to East Rowan freshman Logan Shuping as the Conference Player of the Year and Carson senior Andrew Purcell, who grabbed medalist honors in the tournament with a two under par 69.
The regular season-ending event also determined the NPC representatives in next week’s regional tournament at Statesville Country Club. The top three teams and the next top four players qualify based on cumulative results for the entire season.
Statesville took top honors with a 1452 total followed by West Rowan (1462) and South Rowan (1467). The individual qualifiers were led by Shuping with a 74 Wednesday and 287 for the season, his East teammate Jacob Durham plus Purcell and Matt Yates of Carson.
“I hit the ball well but I didn’t putt very well,” Shuping said of his round. “But then I made a birdie coming in and got the 74.”
The Mustang freshman has been a model of consistency in his first varsity season. He bested West Rowan junior Jake Kennedy for player of the year honors by three shots and two time winner Jack Archibald of Statesville by eight strokes.
“It is a lot of fun playing, representing your school and playing against other kids who are a lot older than me,” Shuping said of his first prep experience in golf.
South Rowan won Wednesday’s tournament with a 320 total thanks to a 1-over 72 by Davis Richards and an 81 by Josh Pope. Statesville followed at 323 as Archibald notched a 74 then West Rowan came in with a 326, thanks to Kennedy’s 73 and Chris Hassard with a 79.
Other team totals for the day were Carson 329, East Rowan 331, North Iredell 369 and West Iredell at 409. A total of 42 golfers from the seven teams took part on the 6,200 yard, par 71 Warrior lay-out.
“This gives us tons of momentum heading into the regional,” South coach Josh Vinson said of his team’s tournament win. “Obviously, our goal was to win the conference championship but making up 18 strokes on a quality team like Statesville is a difficult challenge.”
The Greyhounds came into the event seven shots ahead of West Rowan and won by 10 for the overall title. Coach Mickey Jordan noted his team of seniors had won the league crown all four years of their prep careers.
“I have been blessed with some very good players who worked really hard all season,” he said.
West’s Kennedy had the early lead in the clubhouse with a 73 until Richards of South posted a 72 then Purcell turned in the only sub-par round of the day at 69.
“I started off really badly, actually,” Purcell stated. “So I thought it was going to be a bad day. But then I made six birdies and that helped a lot.”
He played the front side in two under and the back nine at even-par. He credited his accurate putting for his best round of the season.
“I made everything I looked at today,” Purcell said.
All-NPC honors went to Shuping as top player then the next 10 and ties based on their season stroke totals.
NOTES: Named to the All-NPC squad were Archibald, Charlie Warren, Luke Bates and Patrick Green of Statesville; Kennedy and Denny Triche of West; Purcell and Yates of Carson; Richards, Evan Neas and Josh Pope of South.
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