THOUROUGHFARE – When considering the top high school golfers in South Jersey, Doug Ergood’s name has to be somewhere not the top of the last.
The Lenape senior has a history of playing well in big tournaments, with the possibility of one exception.
Until Thursday, Ergood had never done well in the Carl Arena Tournament, one of South Jersey’s premiere outings of the season.
However, that changed in a big way this year as Ergood shot a 67 on the course at the River Winds Golf Club to capture the individual boys championship.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball, and I’m playing some pretty good matches,” said Ergood, who shaved five strokes of his score from last year’s tournament. “I’m glad I have a pretty good team and a good coach to help me along and push me to play my best.”
Ergood’s 67 was five strokes under par for the River Winds course and it enabled him to unseat last year’s winner, Dru Nicholas of St. Augustine.
This year Nicholas shot a 70 and had to settle for second place.
Ergood played in the morning flight and Nicholas played in the afternoon, knowing he had a difficult score to beat if he was to defend his crown.
“I knew the 5-under was out there,” Nicholas said. “The course was pretty easy, but the wind was ridiculous. Two under in these conditions wasn’t bad, so I’m happy with it. I just want to hold my head high.”
Nicholas felt he blew his chance to catch Ergood when he shot a bogie on the 15th hole.
On the other hand, Ergood handled the course consistently well. He shot two bogies, but also had five birdies and an eagle.
“I’m always expecting to play as good as I can,” Ergood said. “I’m been in many tournaments, and it’s just a matter of getting position and hit the shots.”
According to his coach, Chris Foley, Ergood is a dedicated golfer who works hard at his game. But this year Ergood really seems to be coming into his own.
“Everyone of his matches has been in the 30s,” Foley said. “He’s legit. He’s the best player in the area and the best player I’ve ever had in my coaching career.”
Moorestown wins team title: Moorestown won the team championship led by Akhil Giri, who shot 71, with a four-man total of 300.
Giri said he believed that was the best score Moorestown had ever achieved and tournament officials said it was the best score in at least 12 years.
“It was definitely a solid round,” Giri said. “I just came off a 71 at the Peddie Invitational as well, so I had a lot of confidence coming in here.
“I’ve been working hard on my game, so I think it was nice to shoot a good round.”
Coincidently Giri was paired with Ergood, so he knew what he was up against all through the match.
“He had an incredible front 9,” Giri said. “I was just trying to keep up with him as much as possible. I birdied three on the back to get to 1-under, but he was around 4 or 5 on the entire back nine, so I knew it would be tough to catch him.”
However, Giri took a lot of satisfaction from the fact his team played so well, noting all four golfers shot in the 70s.
He was followed by Hayden Greer with a 75, Will Tone with a 76 and Steve Eigenrauch with 79.
St. Augustine came in second place, 307, followed by Clearview, 322.
Mainland’s O’Halloran wins girls title: Mainland’s Camille O’Halloran topped a field of 28 girls with a 79 to win the title.
“Today was just about making the best shots I could,” O’Halloran said. “It feels pretty good. There were a lot of good people here, some of the best teams, some of the best girls in the state, so it feels pretty good to win this.”
While a lot of golfers saw the wind conditions as a detriment, O’Halloran felt having the wind push her shots helped her game.
“That extra pressure from the wind, really helped me make those good shots,” she said. “I was able to get it on the green and make the shots that I did.”
O’Halloran played in the afternoon flight and was able to overcome an 82 shot by Clearview’s Theresa Luu from the morning round.