High faculty golf: East’s Merrell repeats as Rowan County Player of the Year – Salisbury Post


By Mike London

RALEIGH — It’s a moist Saturday, however for East Rowan sophomore Landon Merrell there aren’t any unhealthy days spent on a golf course.

He’s enjoying within the first spherical of the twelfth annual Wolfpack Junior Beginner held on the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

Usually, Merrell is a par machine, a man who could make 4s in his sleep, however throw within the anxiousness of rain delay, and it’s tougher for him than normal. Nonetheless, he shoots 3-over 75. He makes 4 birdies to principally off-set the harm performed by a double bogey and 5 bogeys.

Now he can’t get wait to get again on the course once more right this moment, and he’ll most likely birdie a few of these holes that bit him within the first spherical. That’s who he’s.

In two seasons at East, Merrell has impressed everybody as a low-mistakes man, a high-character man and a poised man. He’s about as regular because the dawn. Everybody hits a nasty shot every now and then, however he’s realized at a younger age to reduce the harm and transfer on.

As a sophomore, as he made a transition from Coach Rhett Teems to Coach Randy Kaiser, Merrell confirmed the consistency of a senior. He’s the Post’s Rowan County Player of the Year for the second time.

“I was a better golfer this year than I was as a freshman,” Merrell mentioned. “My wedge game was greatly improved. My putting was infinitely better.”

Chances are you’ll recall that as a freshman, Merrell was North Piedmont Convention season champ and rolled within the Rowan County Championship held at The Revival Golf Membership at Crescent by 10 strokes.

So he set the bar excessive as a ninth-grader.

The county event wasn’t a runaway for him this season — West senior McGwire Owen was decided to steer the Falcons to the workforce championship and noticed to that —  however Merrell rose to the second and smashed an ideal drive adopted by the perfect 3-wood of his younger life to arrange a two-putt for a vital birdie on a protracted par 5. On a soggy day on the Nation Membership of Salisbury, Merrell’s 75 was ok to prime Owen by two strokes, and now he’s a uncommon back-to-back county champ.

The common season was a blast for Merrell and for each participant and coach within the realigned South Piedmont, which proved to be as aggressive in boys golf because it was in baseball.

“Lake Norman Charter, Northwest Cabarrus and West Rowan had great teams,” Merrell mentioned. “And there were a lot of good golfers on other teams. Usually there were about seven of us in the mix for medalist on a given days.”

These had been nine-hole SPC matches. They drop the worst rating for the season, which meant Merrell jettisoned a 41. That left him with a season scorecard of 34-34-35-38-35-34. That’s fairly robust. He completed second for the season to Northwest Cabarrus’ Talan Harrison.

“I had four rounds of 1-under,” Merrell mentioned. “And we got to play some new courses in the new league. Irish Creek was my favorite. That’s a fun place to play.”

Within the 18-hole South Piedmont Convention Match on the Nation Membership of Salisbury, Merrell shot 76 and was two strokes behind teammate (and medalist) Jaden Sprinkle.

Merrell turned in  a 76 on the Nation Membership to tie for fifth within the 3A Midwest Regional. That certified him to take his first shot on the state event as in particular person.

He shot 81 within the first spherical on Pinehurst No. 6. Not less than 99.9 p.c of the inhabitants can be thrilled to shoot 81 on that course, however Merrell wasn’t happy with himself.

He got here again on the second day to shoot 76 and jumped up the leaderboard to a tie for nineteenth. Owen, a pleasant rival, outplayed him on the primary day at Pinehurst, however Merrell wound up with the higher event, by three photographs.

“The course played very long both days, with not much roll,” Merrell mentioned. “The first day I made four double bogeys, but the second day I just putted a lot better. I didn’t have a single three-putt on the second day, so that’s a pretty good round.”

In time, as he will get older and stronger, Merrell figures to be turning these 76s and 75s into 70s and 71s. He’s acquired all of the components to turn into one of many county’s memorable gamers.

Apart from his anticipated particular person progress, Merrell believes East can have a stronger workforce subsequent season, with a number of gifted freshmen becoming a member of the squad.

“The goal is going to be to get East back to the state as a team,” Merrell mentioned. “We’re going to be good.”

It was a powerful boys golf season within the county, with West taking the county title and with Salisbury profitable the Central Carolina Convention Match and qualifying for the state event as a workforce. Carson’s Cade Cranfield and South’s Jackson Black joined Merrell and Owen as 3A particular person state qualifiers.

All-County workforce

(set by coaches on the county event)

89 was the cutoff

East — Landon Merrell, Jaden Sprinkle

West — McGwire Owen, Tyler Kepley, Gage Ludwick, Justin Cole

South — Jackson Black

Carson — Cade Cranfield

Salisbury — Will Webb, Warren Fesperman, Nick Antosek, Luke Graeber, Wade Robins

Coach of the Year  — Ken Clarke, West


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