Knights golf up for challenge

Tanya Chilton Staff Reporter

October 13, 2013

DOBSON — The Surry Knights golf team is preparing to compete in the Region X Division II Fall Championship Golf Tournament scheduled to be held at Rocky Mount Nov. 1-3 at Belmont, a 6,800-yard golf course.

The Knights are ranked first in their division. They lead Division II teams by as much as 20 strokes.

The Knights mens golf team has won five matches in Division II, and lost four in Region X. Their conference record is 5-0 and regional record 5-4.

“So, we feel strong about our position,” said Knights Golf Coach Tom Pendergraft.

He said their biggest competition will be Sandhills Community College, whom they just met in an unofficial match but lost to by a five strokes.

The two player against two player hole play match is an annual tradition but provided the opportunity to compete against their toughest competitor before the championship. The play improved the team’s confidence, said Pendergraft.

Pendergraft said Surry Community College, Louisburg Community College and Johnson Community College purchased a trophy five years ago and rotate it yearly.

Pendergraft said he has his eye on the goal of winning a trophy that the Surry Knights have not yet won and is excited about the challenge, he said.

“Every match that has been a win, in my opinion a dynamic win,” said Pendergraft.

Sand Hill, Patrick Henry, Johnson, SCC, Louisburg, and Vance-Granville community colleges will meet in the Region X Fall Tournament.

The Rocky Mount course will be extremely long course for everyone used to playing 6,200, 6,300. The approach for the Knights will be to jump in and get familiar by getting in one practice round on Friday.

Pendergraft is excited about the depth found on the team, he said.

“We have two that go back and forth at top seeds, Ryan Wilson and McKinley Johnson,” said Pendergraft.

The same holds true, he said, at three and four, with Ben Vogler and Kirk Casstevens. Also true at four and five with two strong players in contention, Matthew Snow and Ryan High, and another Troy Evans capable of playing four or five, said Pendergraft.

“So I have a real competitive team and three, four, five, or six could bounce to two or three.”

It is really exciting to know there is depth on the team, said Pendergraft, who expects even stronger depth in the spring.

The Surry Knights will add to the roster Dalton Berry, a transfer student from Avery College, who he called a top seed player. Chandler White will become eligible next season at the two or three spot.

Ryan Wilson and McKinley Johnson lead the team both with scores of 69. Pendergraft said both are capable of par or less on a 6,800-yard golf course or any course.

“It is exciting to know I have that,” said the coach.

At the last competition at Neuse River, four of the players finished in the top 10. Pendergraft said they were basically medalists holding wins at position three, six, seven and eight.

“It is exciting and keeps my blood flowing,” said Pendergraft.

In womens golf for SCC, Kasey Tolbert in individual play has received two first places at Sandhills Community College and Louisburg. Gatlin Hiatt most recently had a fourth place.

Pendergraft said several teams in the division do not have enough women to be competitive on the team level. He said he would reassess to see if the local women could not play in other events.

Both women will play in the Region X Fall Tournament with a distance of 6,000 yards, said Pendergraft.

“It will be an interesting score, to see how they do with this distance and will show them what they need to do to be prepared for spring events.”