Of the four high school district golf tournaments played on Sept. 21-23, the Concorde District boasted the strongest field of top high school golfers. The Westfield team proved to be the cream of that crop, winning the Concorde District title by five strokes over rival Chantilly at Twin Lakes Golf Course.
Westfield High School proved the old adage that a high school team needs depth to win a team title.
Westfield golfers Tim Ritter, Shabril Brewer, Wes Liu, and Jimmy Sanders all shot in the low 70s to hang close to Chantilly stars Victor Monte, Ji Soo Park, and Sam Chanhiran.
The difference maker in the match was Sanders, who out-played Chantilly’s No. 4 golfer, Steve Aanstoos, by eight strokes over the two-day event.
Chantilly led after the first round, but the Westfield team appeared unconcerned.
"We were down four strokes," Westfield Coach Tim Vigotsky said. "But our seniors led the way, and their tournament toughness proved to be the difference. Jimmy is a good example."
Chantilly’s Monte won the individual medal with a 3-under 67-72 – 139 from the men’s tees on the 6,500-yard Lakes course. "The difference on the second day was my putting," Monte said. "Nothing dropped until the last hole." Monte said that he knew he was tied with his playing partner, Oakton’s Graham Lawyer, going into the eighteenth hole of the final round. "I had a six-foot putt to win, and I made that one."
Westfield also deserves credit for its championship etiquette on the golf course. The game has long been driven by honesty and fair play, and Tim Ritter’s thoughtful consideration for an opponent during the tense, final holes on the second day was such an example.
Playing without a rules official nearby, Ritter patiently explained to his playing partner how to handle a lost ball in a parallel hazard. The group’s other two players seemed to ignore the golfer’s plight and walked on.
"Etiquette is part of the game," Vigotsky said. "I only get these kids for eight weeks each year. Sure, I can help them with their swings, but teaching them golf’s values is more important."
Several Northern Region teams are coed, however Westfield has three girls on its six-player team — Brewer, Sara Stanley, and Chelsea Kim. Brewer’s 1-under 70 in the final round tied for the second-lowest score that day. The girls play from the forward tees, and the boys from the back. After their drives, however, the girls and boys play even up.
Two Concorde teams advance to the Northern Region championships, Oct. 6-7 at Fairfax National Golf Club.
Westfield moves on by wining the tournament, and Centreville, which finished fifth, qualifies by having won the regular season competition.