Pirates loaded with talent
The boys golf teams at Porter Ridge High and Marvin Ridge are loaded with talent.
Through the first four matches of the regular season, the Pirates and Mavericks have nine of the top 10 players in the Southern Carolina Conference based on stroke average.
Porter Ridge has won three of the four matches, but they've all been decided by three strokes or less. Marvin Ridge's lone win came at The Divide on March 12.
The Pirates are currently in first place with five points, followed by the Mavericks with seven.
"It's been tight so far," said Porter Ridge coach Danny Whitley. "We've only got two regular season matches left, so I think it's going to come down to the conference tournament to determine the champion. The conference is kind of top-heavy right now with us and Marvin Ridge."
The Pirates' balance and consistency has been key.
Porter Ridge has had the individual medalist in all four matches, and it's been a different player every time, including Colson Hoffman, Dalton Neal, Grant Gilbert and Jeff Spence.
"This year we have six solid scores every match," said Whitley. "When you go into a tournament you know you are going to have scores to choose from. You don't have to rely on three of four guys to pull through, so that makes it easier."
Spence goes low
Spence stood out in Tuesday's match at Twin Valley Golf Club, firing a 2-under 34 to help the Pirates claim first place with a score of 151.
The senior registered two birdies and seven pars.
"He had to get up and down for par on one hole, so it was mostly two-putt pars for him," said Whitley of Spence. "Shooting 2-under is really good on any course."
Spence started the season with a 1-over 37 at Stonebridge Golf Club on Feb. 28, but followed with back-to-back 43's in matches at Firethorne Country Club and the The Divide Golf Course.
"Jeff was struggling a little bit and having a hard time early in the season, but he really came out of the gate strong (Tuesday). He's a veteran kid that's played a lot of high school sports, so we knew he would get out of the funk."
Marvin Ridge finished second on Tuesday with a 154, followed by Weddington (160), Anson (177), Sun Valley (180) and Parkwood (180).
Four players posted a 38 or better, including Spence (34), Marvin Ridge's Trey Blood (37), Porter Ridge's Jackson Bailey (38) and Weddington's Alex Simpson (38).
Up nextAll six SCC teams are back in action at Raintree Country Club in Charlotte on Monday.
Weddington, which has finished third in three of the four league matches, will try to take advantage of playing on its home course.
"Weddington's in third and they've been getting better every time out," said Whitley. "Their home match is next week, so it will be a big test for us and Marvin Ridge."
The SCC wraps up the regular season at Charlotte National Golf Club on April 9, followed by the conference tournament (18 holes) at Rolling Hills Country Club on April 16.
Southern Carolina Conference
top 10 stroke averages
1. Colson Hoffman^Porter Ridge^38.0
1. Tyler Brown^Marvin Ridge^38.0
1. DK Kim^Marvin Ridge^38.0
1. Grant Gilbert^Porter Ridge^38.0
1. Jeff Spence^Porter Ridge^38.0
6. Trey Blood^Marvin Ridge^38.33
7. Colton Naslund^Marvin Ridge^39.0
7. Jackson Bailey^Porter Ridge^39.0
7. Alex Simpson^Weddington^39.0
7. Brandon Katsoudas^Marvin Ridge^39.0