Forrest scrambles off first tee

Friday, August 14, 2015
Forrest's Jake Blasingim (center) and Landen Jones (left) watch as an Eagleville player putts out. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Rockets split season's first two matches on road

After an opening season win at Spring Hill on Monday, the Forrest golf team continued the road trip, travelling to Champions Run where they were swept by Eagleville.

"I'm pleased so far with our first two days, (Tuesday) wasn't as good as yesterday, but overall I think we are doing good," Forrest coach Jeremy Jean said. "They are having fun and they are getting better."

Micah Toombs blasts a low shot out of the bunker on the ninth hole at Champions Run.

Leading Rockets

The Rockets lost 182-212 as Eagleville's Torey Fusco shot a 2-over par 38 for nine holes, Bobby Snell followed a 43, Matthew Boyett 44 and Jeffrey Tracey a 57.

Hawken King and Lucas Welch each shot 49 over the 3,244-yard front nine at Rockvale to lead Chapel Hill, Tim Elliot had 56 strokes while Jake Blasingim and Landen Jones each had 58.

Dani Hoeft, who shot a 48 on Tuesday at Champions Run, strokes a putt on the ninth hole.

Both the Forrest boys and girls teams lost their top players this season. Gary Lukonen is no longer enrolled in the public school system while Caitlin Burt recently suffered a broken wrist.

Loss hurts

"Losing Gary hurts the team a lot, we were looking for him to come and average right at or under par, I think he could have done it," Jean said.

Kyleah Hengesbach pitches up to the difficult, sloped fifth green at Champions Run.

"It is a shame we don't have him, but it is just the way it is, we have to look past it and go with what we have."

The remainder of the squad includes Jarvis Lyttle, Hayden Pate, JT Ferguson, Hunter Ferguson and Robert Garcia.

Lady Rocket out

Hawken King tees off on the seventh hole in Tuesday's match with Eagleville.

Losing Burt also hurts the Lady Rockets, who do have two returning players in junior Dani Hoeft and freshman Micah Toombs, who shot 48 and 63, respectively on Tuesday.

"We have a lot of kids out this year so that is promising," said the coach. "We only have one or two seniors and the rest are underclassmen, so that looks good for the future."

Kyleah Hengesbach, who shot a 56 on Tuesday has emerged from a group of three newcomers to the sport that also includes Emily Yost and Katie Harmon to take the no. 3 spot on the squad.

Tim Elliot putts out on the sixth green during Tuesday's match against Eagleville.

"Losing Caitlin with that broken wrist made Kyleah step up and be that third girl, we weren't planning on that, but she stepped up and did well, so that's a plus," Jean said.

Little practice

The players have also had very limited practices due to the process of changing the putting green surfaces and other course renovations ongoing at the Buford Ellington Golf Course in Henry Horton State Park.

"It's rough on us and you could tell today they were tired after playing yesterday and if we were practicing every day, playing back-to-back would not bother them," said Jean. "I told them the other day that is not an excuse, there are things we could have done in the summer when it was open, so it is what it is and we just have to work through it."

If all goes well, the park has targeted the course reopening the middle of next month. That would make it possible for Forrest to host both the district and region tournaments at the end of September on the renovated tract.

Gary Wells Cup

The Rockets will be back in action on Monday for the opening round of the Gary Wells Cup that matches Marshall County's three county schools in a 36-hole match split at Saddle Creek Golf Club and the Ewell Butler Golf Course at the Lewisburg Recreation Center.

Jean said an improvement in his players' short games will make a difference.

Jean added, "We all need to get better at our chipping and putting and if we do that we can shave four or five strokes off and get a little more confidence to win some matches."