VIENNA - Cole Hand is starting his senior year out strong.
The Wheeling Park golfer fired an even-par 73 on Monday at the Parkersburg Country Country Club Invitational.
The Parkersburg golf team may have lost a tiebreaker, but in retrospect the Big Reds are still unbeaten as the regular season enters Week 2.
Parkersburg tied Charleston Catholic for first place with a team score of 236. A tiebreaker came into effect, which considered the fourth golfer's score from each school and the Irish won by four strokes.
Wheeling Park finished third as the Patriots finished with a team score of 237.
In order to keep their record intact, PHS coach Don Snider and company will consider this particular outcome of the Callaway High School Series under the heading for ties.
"I just consider it great play by our kids," Snider said. "Again, it was the depth and I think we have legitimate depth in Class AAA. Cabell Midland is really good, but they weren't here and I don't know anything about Greenbrier East. I think if we finish in the top two in our region,we have a really good shot at Wheeling (for the state tournament)."
Leading the charge for PHS was Lucas Prine, who fired a 3-over par 76 and was one of five individuals named to the all-tournament team. The outcome was a bonus for Prine, who celebrated his 18th birthday the previous day. And he has four birthday cakes to prove it.
A double-bogey on the fifth hole actually served as momentum for the rest of his round. On the very next hole, he finished with a birdie then stayed out of harm's way for the rest of his round.
"From there, I could do almost anything with the golf club, except putting - I had two or three three-putts down the stretch," Prine said.
Rounding out the scoring for the Big Reds were Lauryn Davidson (79) and Isaac Prine (81). Yesterday marked Davidson's first match of her senior season, while Isaac Prine managed to right the ship after hitting two balls out of bounds on the ninth hole.
"This is a great team win - I count it as a win because we did tie for first," Lucas Prine said. "Actually, I didn't even know they had an all-tourney team, but it's awesome and exciting. I assumed I was in the top 10 and top 10 got your name in the paper or something. I didn't know you got a trophy for it."
Joining Prine on the all-tournament team was Parkersburg South junior Adeena Shears, who posted the third lowest score of the afternoon with a 75. Despite missing three birdie putts early in her round, Shears was 2-under par through her first seven holes.
"That was a good start - it helped me in the end," Shears said. "After that I was pretty steady, I guess but made bogeys on 11 and 12 then three-putted hole No. 15 and No. 17 which were par 3s.
"My score was one worse than last year, but I'll take it."
As a team, South placed fifth out of a field of 31 schools after posting a 242 behind an 83 from Alex Schreckengost and an 84 from Trevor Gorrell.
Completing the all-tourney squad were medalist Alex Hamrick (72) of Poca, Hand (73) and Christian Casingal (76) of Charleston Catholic. After several years of struggling with the tight fairways of Parkersburg Country Club, Hamrick finally made his way around the layout without too much difficulty.
"My misses didn't hurt me that much and I made a few putts," Hamrick said. "No. 13 was a big hole for me. I hit in the bunker on my second shot and had to lay up. Then I got up and down for par, and I started playing well after that."