Richmond South rolls to Virginia Team Championship

FARMVILLE –– Richmond South team members delivered three subpar rounds for a second consecutive day to help the section roll to a wire-to-wire nine-stroke victory as the 40th Virginia State Golf Association Sectional Team Championship concluded today at The Manor Golf Club (6,842 yards, 6,287 yards for seniors, par 36-36—72).

Richmond South concluded the event at 24-under-par 552 to take third straight title in the event and record its fourth victory in the past five years, having also triumphed in 2007. The section also took home the title in 1997.

The Lynchburg section shot a day-two best aggregate of 11-under 277 to tie for second place, along with the Williamsburg section with a 15-under 561 aggregate.

For the victors, Richmond mid-amateurs Robert Edwards and Scott Bemberis led the way, firing a final round 5-under 67. Edwards teamed with Nathan Lash to card a team-best score of 65 in the first round and continued his momentum on day two. Altogether, Edwards birdied all four of the layout’s par 3s in the final round, with three of the birdies combining for an estimated 8 feet in length. Edwards also chipped in for birdie at the par-3 12th. Both competitors had plenty of birdie chances throughout the closing round.

“It seemed as though both of us were putting for birdies on three-quarters of the holes and the greens were beautiful,” Bemberis said.

Edwards, admittedly freed up to be aggressive with his partner in position, continued to shine on and around the greens for a second straight day.

“Scott was there the whole way and I managed to roll in a few birdie putts,” he said.

Friends Starell Cox (Chesterfield) and Paras Pandya (Midlothian) got off to a sluggish start and were two over par through six holes, but Pandya contributed four of the team’s five birdies the rest of the way, helping the team to a last day 3-under 69. Pandya accounted for three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 8-12 to get the squad into red numbers.

“Early on, we had nothing going right, but [after No. 6] we were hitting it well,” Cox said.

Breezy conditions made shot selecting and scoring more demanding on Sunday.

“The wind was tricky,” Pandya said. “You had to hit some different shots and flight it low.”

Also for Richmond South, seniors Tom Hackett (Powhatan) and John Cuomo (Richmond) carded their second straight round of 2-under 70, while regulars Chris Corrada and Larry Loving Jr. of Richmond matched their opening day 73.

The core of the Richmond South team has remained basically intact during their recent win run, contributing to the team’s shining play and continued success.

“We’re all friends first and our core has stayed together, which is important,” Cox said.

Lynchburg section regulars Lee Fisher (Altavista) and Lanny Duncan (Forest) closed with a team-best 5-under 67, while Lexington residents Kurt Swenson and David Brogan added 68 to help the team’s climb up the leaderboard.

Rising young players Seth Nooe, 17, and Patrick Scheil, 23, representing the Williamsburg section, followed their first day-best 64 with 68 on the final day to pace the section and take home medalist honors at 12-under 132.

View results for Virginia (VSGA) Sectional Team Championship

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