SUTTON -- Owen Hunter's 18-hole scores have been getting better. The Monument Mountain junior capped off his 2013 season by earning a top-10 finish in the MIAA state Division II golf tournament on Monday.
Hunter shot a 4-over par 76 at Blackstone National Golf Club to finish tied for sixth with Christian Boretti of Hingham. The Monument golfer and the rest of the field chased George May of Masconomet, who was the individual medalist after shooting a 1-over 73. George May's brother Charlie won the previous two state Division II titles.
"I only got to play nine holes [in practice], so I was feeling a little shaky," Hunter said. "It ended up that I played better on the nine I didn't see than the other nine."
Hunter practiced on the back nine at Blackstone National and shot a 6-over 42. His front nine score was a 2-under 34.
The day did not go as well for Western Massachusetts Division II champion Drury. Matt Lawrence was low scorer with an 84, but the Blue Devils finished 11th out of 11 teams with a 362 total.
"I'm really proud of my team and the way they competed, on two levels," said Drury coach Don Dagnoli. "I'm happy for our senior Matt Lawrence. He was 0-15 as a freshman and he's going out at the state championship as a senior.
"The experience the younger guys are getting, this is a win for our team."
Concord-Carlisle had a most impressive day, winning the tournament with a total of 303. Hingham and Belmont were next at 315. All four of Concord-Carlisle's scoring golfers broke 80, and Tianlin Zhang finished second, one stroke behind May.
Hunter came into the state championship having shot 86 in the Berkshire Classic at Stockbridge Golf Club and 80 in the Western Mass. tournament at the Country Club of Wilbraham.
Hunter's day didn't start off exceptionally well. The junior golfer started from the 16th hole and promptly went bogey, bogey, par. As Hunter went around to No. 1, he birdied the par-4, 320-yard first hole. He parred the second and then birdied the par-3 third hole. He was at 2-under 34 after his nine.
"I was playing well and then I kind of fell apart a little bit when I started thinking about it," said Hunter. "Overall, I was pretty content. I could have made some big numbers, but I saved them."
Saving numbers was something the Blue Devils were unable to do. Not only was Lawrence the low scorer for the Blue Devils, but he was the only Drury golfer to break 90.
"On the front nine I was doing good, then it fell apart a little bit," said Lawrence. "Every once in a while, I'd get a double [bogey] and that kind of hurt me and I couldn't really shake it."
Lawrence went off from the first hole and went par-double bogey-birdie on his first three holes. He bogeyed three of his finals six holes to make the turn at 40. On the back, he parred three holes but bogeyed or double bogeyed the rest of them.
Lawrence played with two golfers who broke 80 -- Drew Benshoff of Concord-Carlisle, who had 76, and Andrew Lilly of Belmont, who shot 79.
"They're good players. They kind of mind their own [business]. They don't talk much," said Lawrence. "They got down to business and they shoot good scores."
Drury's Nick Trombley shot 90, Nick Bator 91, Alex Candiloro and Doug Sigsbury both shot 97 and Nick Boulger shot 104.
"[The course] was in good shape, but it was a pretty tough course to play," said Boulger. "If you can't hit the ball straight, it's going to eat you alive.
"I couldn't hit anything straight, really."
While that was ultimately the tale of the tape for Drury, none of the Blue Devils would trade the experience. And it's quite a way to end for Lawrence, a senior whose first Drury team went winless.
"It's a big journey, going from 0-15 to 13-2 and winning Western Mass." said Lawrence. "It's a big turnaround. They can still have a shot at it next year."
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