Freshman Phenom Owns the Links

Ben Nachman

Freshman Ward Wilkinson tees off on the ninth hole at Hanover Country Club. Wilkinson hopes to keep his level of play up and lead the Hawks to a Conference 20 championship. Danny Polk
Freshman Ward Wilkinson tees off on the ninth hole at Hanover Country Club. Wilkinson hopes
to keep his level of play up and lead the Hawks to a Conference 20 championship.
Danny Polk

Wilkinson is the Hawks’ #1 golfer in his first “official” season. He was a member of the team last year as an eighth grader, but did not play in matches in order to save his four years of VHSL eligibility.

The freshman has posted impres­sive numbers this season, with a 9-hole stroke average of 39.

Recently, Wilkinson put up a one over par 36 in the Hanover Quad, a match between the four county schools, at Hanover Country Club. His score was tied for the lead with Lee Davis’s Austin Deihr and helped lead the Hawks to a second place fin­ish, three stokes behind Atlee.

Wilkinson’s low 9-hole score this season in competition play is a 34. He also boasts a 4-under par 31 in a prac­tice round where he holed a shot from 140 yards out for eagle. Both scores he attained at Hanover’s home course, Hanover Country Club.

“You play against the course not against other people,” Wilkinson said.

This is the first year the Hawks have played host at Hanover Coun­try Club, but Wilkinson, a member at HCC, has seen the course plenty of times.

“It is a challenging course but I live on it.” Wilkinson said. “I play on it all the time and that definitely gives me the advantage. After a while I got to know the course and how it plays as well as I know the back of my hand.”

If Wilkinson could improve on just one part of his game he said it would be his short game, however, he went on to say that he would like to im­prove on all of it. He boasts a 270-yard drive and a very consistent playing style that has been aided by the senior leadership the team possesses.

In regular season play, the Hawks have the best record in Conference 20 as well as a second place standing un­der the unofficial Capital District.

Hanover will compete in the Con­ference 20 championship on Sep­tember 31 at Mattaponi Springs Golf Club. A win or second place finish in the conference tournament will ad­vance the Hawks to regionals.

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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