Golf central: Auburn Hills closure could kill area high school programs

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Blacksburg High School’s Melissa Meng finished tied for 40th in the recent girl’s high school open state golf tournament. She was the only female representative from our area.

By Marty Gordon
NRVsports@mainstreetnewspapers.com

The proposed sale of the Auburn Hills Golf Club may drastically affect three high school programs who have played there for the past five years. Christiansburg, Eastern Montgomery and Auburn could all be forced to find a new home.

So far, athletic directors at each school are playing a “wait and see” attitude but are worried about what they will be facing if the Riner golf course is sold to someone who  would change the way the facility is used. The possibility also remains that the course could be divided and sold as separate parcels.

Auburn A.D. Paul Dominy said his understanding is that there is the potential to close.  “We intend to continue golf and are looking at options,” he said.

Auburn had six golfers this year and was the runner-up to George Wythe in both the regional and state tournament.

The sale of Auburn Hills is scheduled for March 2020, which would leave the high schools as little as five months to find a new playing home.

The closest courses are located in Pulaski and Floyd.

VT golf

In the college ranks, Virginia Tech women’s golf team posted a three-round total of 874 and finished in fifth place at the Battle at the Beach Sunday afternoon. The three-day event was played at the par 72, 6,280-yard Club Campestre San Jose in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Tech opened the tournament with a 300 in Friday’s first round and was tied for fifth overall. The Hokies posted a 2-under 288 on Saturday, the second-best round of the second round, to be in third place. Tech had an even-par 288 on Sunday.
Emily Mahar, a junior from Brisbane, Australia, led the Hokies in Mexico. She finished in seventh place at 3-under 213. Mahar was 10 strokes behind Julia Johnson of Ole Miss, who tied an NCAA record with an 11-under 61 in Sunday’s final round. Mahar’s 1-under 71 on Sunday featured three birdies.
Alyssa Montgomery, a freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., finished in 11th place for the Hokies at 1-under 215, and Keera Foocharoen, a sophomore from Bangkok, Thailand, tied for 36th at 223. Jessica Spicer, a senior from Bahama, N.C., tied for 47th at 225 and Becca DiNunzio, a freshman from Norfolk, tied for 59th at 230. Foocharoen joined Mahar with a 1-under 71 in the final round and Montgomery carded an eagle on the par 4, 370-yard No. 10 Sunday.
Ole Miss claimed the team title with a 7-under 857, seven strokes ahead of LSU. Host TCU was third at 869, three strokes ahead of Texas A&M and five strokes ahead of the Hokies. Texas Tech was sixth at 875, San Jose State was seventh at 879, Augusta was eighth at 881, Vanderbilt was ninth at 883 and Denver was 10th at 897. Nebraska was 11th at 902, Missouri was 12th at 904, Indianapolis was 14th at 905, Kansas State was 15th at 916 and UAB was 16th at 935.
This was the final tournament of the fall for the Hokies. Tech returns to action Feb. 9-11, competing in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Purdue at the Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Mar, Puerto Rico.

Radford golf

The Radford University men’s golf team shot its best round of the Kiawah Classic Tuesday, firing a team score of 290 in the final round to finish 14th in the tournament. Three different Highlanders had their best rounds of the tournament on the final day.
Peter Gasperini led the way for the Highlanders and vaulted inside the top 15 after shooting a 5-under 67 in the final round. Gasperini had nine birdies in the final round, making four on the front nine and five on the back nine, moving from a tie for 39th up to a tie for 13th. The redshirt senior’s 14 birdies in the tournament ranked seventh among the 121 participants.
Tyler Hull shot an even-par 72 in the final round, moving five spots up the leaderboard. Hull had four birdies on the day with three coming on the back nine. Hunter Duncan made an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole for Radford’s second eagle of the tournament. Duncan shot a 1-over 73 in the final round.
Overall, Auburn won the tournament at 31-under, 15 shots ahead of second-place College of Charleston. Auburn’s Jovan Rebula won the individual title at 13-under.