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Hough handles wind, cold to win Mecklenburg County golf tournament

Led by individual champ Peyton White, Huskies win inaugural Piedmont Gas Cup tournament Monday at Pine Island Country Club.

By Bill Kiser
Correspondent

Hough High’s boys’ golf team has accomplished a lot in just three years: a regional title and a fifth-place finish in last year’s 4A state tournament, for starters.

Now the Huskies can add Mecklenburg County’s best high school team.

Hough overcame the cold and gusty winds to take the inaugural Piedmont Gas Cup tournament Monday afternoon at Pine Island Country Club.

Led by individual champ Peyton White, the Huskies shot a four-player total of 310, nine strokes better than perennial state contender Myers Park (319) on the par-72 Pine Island course. Ardrey Kell was third at 327.

“I’ve got some kids who are willing to work,” Hough coach Erik Herberth said. “They’re starting to buy into what I’m trying to do. If they want to be the best, they have to do everything better. We’re getting there.”

White had the tournament’s low individual round, shooting a 3-over-par 75 despite dealing with gusting winds. He was two strokes better than Myers Park’s Phillip Oweida, who shot 77.

“The wind was really tough,” White said. “It was tough to play in that, because you have to make a lot of adjustments. I was trying to hit the ball low and try to play with the wind, because that can add another 10-20 yards to a shot if you play it right.”

Yet in the windy conditions, the better players stood out – in addition to White, eight other players shot under 80, including all three of his teammates. Patrick Cover and Clay Brown were among five players tied at 78, and Seth Gandy shot 79.

“If you’re mentally tough, you want the harder conditions,” Herberth said. “It’s been pretty tough to play all spring, so I told the guys to expect to have some bogeys.

“We were all playing on recently aerated greens and in 40-mph winds. They had to figure out a way to get it done, and how to keep going through those conditions.”

Tournament organizers already have plans to improve next year’s event, hoping to get more of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teams involved and possibly even Mecklenburg County’s private-school teams such 2010 N.C. Independent Schools state champion Providence Day.

“We’d eventually like to make this a two-day tournament and play it on a weekend,” said Mark Hofstetter, the head professional at Pine Island and one of the tournament’s organizers. “We want to make this event something that the college coaches will want to pay attention to.”

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