Winfield's Chris Williams shot a 1-under-par 69 to win medalist honors at the MSAC tournament at Berry Hills.
Life was giving Chris Williams lemons Monday morning.After shooting 5 over par through the first eight holes, the Winfield senior began squeezing his competition and birdied four of the last five holes to record the only sub-par round of the 14-team Mountain State Athletic Conference golf tournament and claim the individual championship.Williams' 1-under-par 69 on the par-70 Berry Hills Country Club course, however, wasn't good enough to derail George Washington's fourth straight MSAC team title by 20 strokes over Cabell Midland (298-318).The Patriots' Will Evans and Drew Call led the charge with matching 3-over 73s and two others followed with rounds in the 70s as GW posted four players in the top 10. Nitro's T.J. White also clubbed a 73. (See Page 2B for results.)Winfield is competing in the MSAC for the first time this season."It means a lot playing GW on its home course,'' said Williams. "They play up here every day. It's a good way to start the conference."We didn't play that good today, but we have been playing really well the past week. After I made my first birdie it just started coming together. "I just tried to forget about [the slow start] and start over. I didn't really think about how I started. I'm just happy with the way I fought back.''Williams tied for sixth at last month's West Virginia Amateur and competed in the Virginia-Carolinas team matches earlier this month.
"Some people easily give up, but I think the experience he's gotten has really mentally prepared him,'' Winfield coach Danny Mullins said of Williams. "You've got to kind of grind it out, especially on this golf course. It's not an easy golf course.''GW was solid up and down its roster."I'm just really proud of the kids,'' said GW coach B.J. Calabrese. "It's a tough and demanding course. You can say, 'Well, they know the course,' but you still have to go play it under the competition that we were up against.''Calabrese said he was pleased with his team's progress."One thing we really tried to focus on recently is just finishing better and being a little bit smarter with course management,'' he said."One of my concerns the last few weeks is we have not been finishing rounds real well. It seems from the first five, six, seven holes we'll be playing pretty well and then we let a double or triple bogey slide in there.''Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.