Milano goes shaving to finish fourth at state meet
The quintet shaved 24 strokes off its first-day total to finish tied for fourth in the final standings at the par-71, 6,001-yard “Old Muny” course Thursday and Friday.
Rankin took five strokes off their first-day slim lead to edge out Martin’s Mill for the team title by five strokes. Wink finished 28 strokes behind the champions for third.
Martin Mill’s Jackson Latimer was first place medalist with a scorecard of 72 and 74, defeating Canadian’s Brody Davis by one stroke. Both shot just one over par for the course on Thursday.
Milano managed two players in the top 20 finishers of the tournament. Junior Toby Sanders led the Eagles who shot rounds of 86 and 80 to finish 12th overall with a 166 total. Sophomore Mik Mader was 19th with totals of 91 and 82 for 173 in the two-day event.
The Region IV champion Eagles, who were sitting in sixth place after play Thursday, shot 379 and struggled on the course’s narrow tree-lined fairways and small greens.
“It looked as though the guys had the jitters as they teed off. They seemed a bit nervous on the front nine (actually the back nine because they started Thursday morning from the 10th tee)” Milano Coach Robbie Robinson said. “They rebounded well as the round progressed and finished on a positive note.”
The Eagles are a young group with two juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen at the state meet. Nerves got in the way.
“I heard one of them say ‘I never smiled the entire round today’,” Robinson said. “We completed the first 18 holes and stood in sixth place, but I told them that fourth place was not out of the question.”
What a difference a day makes, Milano cut 24 strokes off its firstday total on Friday to move into fourth place. The Eagles actually tied with Bronte for the spot, just out of the medals.
Six of the eight squads at the tournament improved their firstday totals, but Milano improved the most.
Blue Ridge and Hamlin shot worse the second day. Hamlin was actually sitting 15 strokes out of third place after Thursday, but shot a disappointing 409 on Friday to finish last in the team standings.
“All of the nerves seemed to have flown out the window (Friday). It was a shock to them to see how many people actually followed the groups as they played, but four out of the five shot better scores on Day 2,” Robinson said. “Toby, Mik, Jacob, Derek and Tyde represented Milano High School and the entire community on Milano extremely well and the everyone should be proud of their efforts.”
Junior Jacob Willingham had the biggest improvement between rounds, shooting 11 strokes better from Thursday to Friday, with a 103-92—195 score.
Freshman Derek Walton carded a 99-103—200, followed by classmate Tyde Taylor at 117- 116—233.
The fab five made their marks in the school record books, as they are the first Eagle golfers to ever qualify for a state golf tournament, and to top that, are the first ever boys team in any MHS sport to qualify for a state tournament.