CHATHAM COUNTY — They say great programs don’t rebuild, they just reload.
That’s true for the perennial powerhouse Green Hope boys golf team, which overwhelmed its Southwest Wake Athletic Conference foes for a team tournament win Thursday at The Preserve at Jordan Lake, its fifth win in as many league matches.
Led by sophomore Timmy Leonard, Green Hope (152) outplayed Panther Creek (164), Middle Creek (165) and Holly Springs (166) for the victory. Athens Drive (173) was fifth, followed by Fuquay-Varina (176), Apex (190) and Cary (191).
Leonard had a superb day, garnering a medal as the day’s top individual player along with Holly Springs senior standout Tim Conover. Both carded the day’s low score of a one-over 37.
“Coach (Mike Robinson) just always tells us to play smart and concentrate on the hole we’re on,” said Leonard, who came in at No. 5 on the team’s depth chart. “There’s a great tradition here and we all have to keep that going.”
Robinson was certainly impressed with the youngster’s performance.
“(Leonard) is very consistent, doesn’t get in trouble a lot with poor shots and has a very good short game,” Robinson said. “He also has a big heart and gets everything out of what he has.”
He’s also blessed with the same kind of poise displayed by the more-experienced Conover. Consistency is the key to his success.
“I drove the ball well and hit every single green on my approach shots,” said Conover, the SWAC’s No. 2 individual player last year and its best in 2012.
Conover only felt a bit betrayed by his short game, saying he could have taken an even lower score into the clubhouse despite the Preserve’s reputation as a difficult course.
“I could have shot a 34 if I had made some more putts,” said Conover, one of the few players to card under 40, along with Panther Creek teammates Viraj Garewal and Alex Scott and Fuquay’s Thomas Williams. (All shot 39).
Robinson, in his fourth year guiding a program with more than a decade run of conference titles, basked in the win as the sun set on the evening.
“This was a great team win considering some of our top players didn’t perform at their best,” Robinson said. “Some of our other players, like Leonard, really picked us up.”