Woodbridge capped off a phenomenal 7-2 (7-1) season with a win Tuesday to be crowned Cardinal District Champions, and earned a trip to regional competition in Hardy, Virginia, next week. Freshman Adam Szwed shot the lowest score of the day—a 6-over-par 78—to win his seventh straight match; sophomore Austin Hurlbrink placed third.
For a sport, such as golf, which rewards players for individual achievement, it's rather aberrant to hear a player talk about the team and its accomplishments, but that is exactly what Szwed chose to do.
“The team played well,” said Szwed. “We have a lot of team chemistry, and we help each other a lot. It's been a fun year.”
Szwed's round began with four straight pars before bogeying the par-3 fifth, as well as the par-3 seventh hole. He had success with his irons, reaching five of the front nine greens in regulation, but struggled to consistently sink puts. Swed remarkably saved par on the ninth hole, after his approach shot from 75 yards landed in the right bunker. He then hit an explosion shot that landed two feet from the cup. Szwed began the back nine with a bogey, but pared the next four holes, before bogeying the par-4 fifteenth and the par-5 final hole.
The front nine play of Hurlbrink was disastrous. After bogeying the par-4 second, he scored a quadruple bogey eight on the par-4 fourth hole.
“I had a blow up,” said Hurlbrink. “I skulled it into the water, and then chunked my chip and three putted. Eight on that hole was a downer.”
Hurlbrink bogeyed five and seven, double bogeyed eight, and bogeyed the ninth hole to finish the front with a 10-over-par 46. However, things turned around for Hurlbrink on the back nine. After a par on ten, lady luck helped him birdie the par-4 eleventh: his 206-yard drive slowly curved left and smacked a tree, but then kicked out onto the center of the fairway. Hurlbrink then used a gap wedge to reach the green in regulation, and next sank a 15-foot put. He finished the round with a 12-over-par 84.
“There's a lot of positives to this season: I learned that Adam is a boss, Adam is a boss, and that Adam is a boss,” said Hurlbrink in a jokingly manner. “I guess, this year was the complete opposite of last year. Last year I could hit a driver well, but from like 100 yards and in, I couldn't do anything. So, I spent a lot of time in the off-season putting and chipping. But, I got a lot better with the short game and a lot worse with the long clubs. I'm gonna work on that, and hopefully next year I can compete with Adam!”
The camaraderie shown bright on the faces of Woodbridge as they hugged and gave each other high-fives after the final scores were tallied.
“Do you know who deserves it the most?” asked coach Darin Snoots. “My two seniors [Alex Monaco and Riley Varela]. Both those guys were on my practice squad when they were freshmen, and they worked their way up and worked their tails off. They've truly earned it. I have some young guns who've come up and helped them, but they earned it!”
Monaco shot 89, Eric Gum shot 91, Varela shot 92, and Sam Bennett shot 94.
Woodbridge: 342, Osbourn Park: 343, Forest Park: 387, Hylton: 421. Gar-Field, Potomac, and Freedom do not have full teams, and therefore their players' scores do not count in team competition.
Cardinal All-District Team (Top 6 Medalists)
Adam Szwed: 78
Daniel Westley: 84 - Osbourn Park
Austin Hurlbrink: 84
Corbin Attreed: 85 - Osbourn Park
Kyle Vignovich: 86 - Osbourn Park
Aaron Braxton: 88 - Hylton
Individual Regional Qualifiers
Aaron Braxton: 88
Parker Burke: 91 - Forest Park
Andrew Jones: 91 - Forest Park
George Watkins: 92 - Gar-Field
Ryan Johnson: 97 - Freedom
Chris Colletti: 100 - Forest Park