Boys golf: Hayford swinging for gold
Before heading off to play golf at St. Edward's University in Austin, Friendswood senior Corey Hayford will wrap up his high school career just a few minutes away from the college.
Hayford won a region title to qualify for the University Interscholastic League Class 4A State Tournament on Monday and Tuesday, May 9-10, at the Jimmy Clay Course in Austin, which is less than six miles from St. Edward's.
His future college coach, St. Edward's Todd Ohlmeyer, is expected to be on hand, along with Friendswood coach Dr. Bob Crotteau, and some teammates and friends.
"It would be great to have our entire Friendswood team at state, and I know their support, along with the support from everyone else, is going to be big," Hayford said. "Playing in front of a large crowd is always exciting, especially when you have some of them pulling for you."
Hayford blew away the Class 4A Region III field with a two-day, 36-hole winning total of 144 (70-74) to beat the runner-up from Montgomery by seven strokes last month at the Raven Nest Course in Huntsville.
"Hayford has been on the varsity all four years, and our standout player for the past three years," Crotteau said. "He is just a fine young man, an honors student, and he gets top marks in my calculus class. He always works hard and is always practicing, and he also helps the other guys during practice for the good of the team."
The Mustangs, who also include senior Brady Purdom, junior Austin Salyer, and sophomores Sam Brackett (20th at regionals) and Cole Thompson, finished second to Clear Falls in District 24-4A, but came back to clip the Knights by one shot (645-646) for fourth place at regionals.
Montgomery swept the top two places and team state berths at the region event (615 and 626), with Huntsville third (639), following a penalty ruling that put Friendswood fourth and just ahead of Clear Falls.
The Mustangs fired a 307 on the opening day to trail only Montgomery Purple (304) heading into the final round.
"We'll lose a lot with Hayford and Purdom graduating, but we have a good core coming back, and a couple of more good players who will be sophomores," Crotteau said. "When you lose a player like Hayford, there is always some rebuilding, but we feel like we'll continue to compete for the district championship and more."
In 11 straight region-qualifying seasons under Crotteau, the Friendswood boys have captured six district titles and five second places.
Hayford tees off at approximately 8 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday, May 9-10, at Jimmy Clay.
The 4A boys field includes teams from Montgomery, Austin Lake Travis, Boerne Champion, Dallas Highland Park, Rockwall, Wolfforth Frenship and Aledo.
It will include individual qualifiers like Hayford, that include Joe Molina (Magnolia), Trevor Vega (Victoria West), Steven Jones (Kerrville Tivy), Cade Storey (Richardson Pearce), Cyril Cejnar (Nacogdoches), Dillon Vaughn (Joshua) and Major Monzingo (Northwest Byron Nelson).
"I know more about the (Class) 5A field than the 4A," Hayford said. "I play with a lot of the golfers from 5A high schools in events outside of high school, so I don't know a lot of the 4A players.
"It's an honor to represent Friendswood at state, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the event. It's just a great way to wrap it up."
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