MOUNTAIN HOME – The Benton Panther golf team finished 8th out of 12 teams, shooting a 358, just four strokes from qualifying as a team in the 6A State round two today in the State Tournament at the par-72 Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home on Monday. Benton finished fourth in the South.
“This is some tough competition,” Benton Coach David Torres said. “It’s a wide-open, beautiful course. It’s well taken care of and the greens are well-groomed. It’s just the toughness of it; tough pin placement. This week, your putter was everything. Each green had two or three tiers.”
Russellville and Jonesboro tied for first with 317s (Russellville won in sudden death sinking a 45-foot putt), Searcy and El Dorado tied for third with 338s, with Siloam Springs (343), Sheridan (349) and Greenwood (354) following.
Despite just missing out as a team, the Panthers did qualify three golfers for today’s individual round with senior Matthew Perry leading Benton with an 85, sophomore Sam Eddington (87) and freshman Cole Treece (89). Junior Justin Lee shot a 97 and sophomore Joe Adams finished with a 98.
“It was a great experience for our kids in a rebuilding year,” Torres said.
“Being young, some of them got their first state tournament under their belt. It just wasn’t good enough to qualify. The best thing is getting that experience with a capital E and getting ready a year from now.”