Trojan boys finish fourth at district golf meetScorecard error hurts Fairfield
Friday’s district meet at Stone Creek Golf Course in Williamsburg proved to be bittersweet for the Fairfield boys’ golf team.
At tournament’s end, the Trojans scored a 324, placing third out of four teams. Host Williamsburg was in the top spot (312), meaning that three teams would advance to the state tournament instead of just two because of Williamsburg’s home course advantage. It was at that moment, Fairfield senior Landon Gamrath noticed an error on his scorecard.
Gamrath realized he placed a six on his card instead of a seven on the 18th hole. He reported his mistake to the course officials, and consequently his score was disqualified. Gamrath had the fourth best individual score for the Trojans, but with his score out of contention, Fairfield then had to take the fifth best score, knocking the team back to fourth place and out of the state meet.
Had there not been an error, the Trojans would have tied Centerville at 325, meaning they would have had another chance to beat the Big Red in a playoff hole and move on to state. Gamrath’s honesty and impressive display of sportsmanship brought the team’s year to a close, but there are more important things than winning. After all, he could have looked the other way.
“I am very proud of Landon and the team for noticing this, owning up to it and then handling things with great character,” Fairfield coach Mick Flattery said. “In golf, players are their own officials and playing with integrity is the name of the game. No one ever wants to play with cheaters.”
Nick Higgins led the Trojans by shooting a 75, which was good enough for fourth place and a berth at the state tournament. Higgins knocked in two birdies and had a very consistent day, shooting a 38 on the front nine and a 37 on the back nine.
Senior Matt Carr ended his career with a 79 by nailing three birdies. Fellow seniors Alex Shier (85) and Joe Hietpas (88) both made one birdie. Dillon Shelby rounded out the Fairfield lineup with an 89.
Higgins will compete at the state tournament Friday at Ames Country Club.
“Nick was very disappointed in his performance last year (89) and used that for motivation,” Flattery said. “Super accomplishment for this sophomore. I will get to walk 36 holes and see every shot, which I’m going to really enjoy.”
The 2014 season proved to be one of the best Fairfield has ever seen. The Trojans finished the year ranked No. 6 in Class 3A. The senior laden squad won the Fairfield Invite, was again crowed Southeast Conference champions and ends the season with a record of 58-13.
TEAM SCORES: Williamsburg 312, Central Dewitt 319, Centerville 325, Fairfield 327.