Highlands and Blue Ridge golf wrap up at Wildcat Cliffs

Highlands School and Blue Ridge Early College varsity golf teams faced off at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club on April 11 with Highlands shooting 182 and BREC shooting 211.

BREC Noah Pressler hits an approach shot at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club on April 11. Highlands shot 182 and BREC shot 211.

Highlands Head Coach Keven Gabbard said confidence is high after their performance last week at Wildcat Cliffs and the Highlanders have Regionals in their sights.

“The Highlands team has shot their two lowest scores of the season the past two matches, 180 and 182, so we are trending in the right direction for the conference Championship,” said Gabbard. “All four seniors are playing with more confidence and shooting their lowest scores of the season. All are now shooting below 45 for 9 holes which was our season goal. I am confident in our team to win the Smokey Mountain Conference and advance to Regionals May 7.”

Highlands Dillon Schmitt chips onto the green at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club.

BREC Head Coach Tim Mayse said the Bobcats have been inconsistent this season and last week’s match at Wildcat Cliffs was not their finest performance.

“We did not play well today and have been very up and down this year,” said Mayse. “We have the potential and experience needed to contend with other teams, but we just haven’t been consistent on a weekly basis with our matches.”

BREC Fisher Druffel driving at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club on April 11.

Gabbard said Highlands’ over-all record as of April 11 is 22 – 4 in dual matches, which are now over for the season. The Smokey Mountain Conference tournament is next beginning on April 25 with the first round at Sky Valley Golf Club. The second round is on April 29 at Old Union Golf Club in Blairsville, Ga.

Eight teams will compete for the Conference title; Highlands, Murphy, Blue Ridge, Swain, Cherokee, Robbinsville, Rosman, and Nantahala. The top four teams from conference will qualify for Regionals on May 7, at The Ridges in Hayesville.

From left is Highlands Mattson Gates teeing off at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club while BREC Noah Pressler waits on deck planning his shot.

Mayse said they are still hoping to qualify for Regionals but would have to finish in the top 3 or 4 during the conference tournament.

“We will need to play a whole lot better than we did today to make Regionals as a team,” said Mayse. “Top four individuals that aren’t on qualifying teams can make Regionals also. I think if we don’t make it as a team, we may get two guys in as individuals like we had last year.”

BREC Joe Madden sets up to drive at Wildcat Cliffs Cluntry Club.

Mayse added that despite the ups and downs, the Bobcats have stayed positive and working hard to improve their game.

“I have enjoyed this season,” said Mayse. “We have a great group of young men who practice hard and respect the game. I think if our guys settle down with their swings and make better club choices, we will be successful during the conference tournament.”

Blue Ridge Scores from Wildcat Cliffs on April 11:

Joe Madden – 49

Steve Madden – 52

Noah Pressler – 54

Fisher Druffel – 56

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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