Despite illness, broken hand, Hornets finish 3rd in state

The Bryant Hornet golf team finished up its season at Centennial Valley Golf Club in Conway in the 7A State Tournament earlier this week. But it was no ordinary tournament. The Hornets battled through illness and broken bones as they fought their way to a third-place finish, ending the year just three strokes behind runner-up Fayetteville. Conway ran away with the tournament on its way to the championship, posting a two-day total of 590. Fayetteville finished with a 621 with Bryant standing close at 624.
“The boys played as well as they could have,” Head Coach Keith Dale said. “This was the first year that senior Tyler Green didn’t make all-state, but he was playing with a broken hand, too.”
Green finished with a score of 156 after posting back-to-back 78s.
“He has to go in sometime this week for more X-rays to make sure he hasn’t fractured it anymore,” Dale said. “He finished really well.”
Senior Austin Harmon shot a Day 1 score of 76 and was sitting pretty after the first 18 holes. But, the next 12 hours were not nice to him as he woke up on Day 2 vomiting and continued to do so throughout the entire day, according to Dale.
“It was a rough day for all of my seniors,” Dale said.
A big lift for the Hornets came of the club face of freshman Drew Castleberry on Day 2. Castleberry’s opening round was disappointing to say the least. After posting an uncharacteristic 83, Castleberry came out firing on Tuesday, finishing with an impressive plus-1 73 to keep Bryant close to Fayetteville.
“Drew really came back and made a lot of improvement,” Dale said.
Castleberry, Harmon and Green finished at 13, 14 and 15th overall in the tournament. Conway’s Parker Rice took the overall, finishing just two strokes ahead of teammate Carson Roberts at 144.
Bryant made up two strokes on Fayetteville after Day 1 despite the woes.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we would have beaten them and probably even gave Conway a run for their money,” Dale said.
The Hornets will be without Green and Harmon next season, but will have Castleberry back. That is something that is already exciting to Dale.
“Hopefully, we will be just as good next year,” Dale said. “We always have quite a few kids that are neck and neck. We will have just as many next year as we did this year. We hate losing Green and Harmon because they always go out and shoot really well.”
Bryant golf finished the year with a fourth-place finish for the girls followed by a third-place showing from the boys.