(written and photographed for Somerville Patch)
Somerville High golf co-captains Kyle Higgins and Rob Anderson beat their Medford High counterparts atop the depth chart, but Medford won the other six pairings Wednesday afternoon at Indian Ridge Golf Club in Andover, winning the overall match by a total score of 52 ½ to 19 ½. Medford remains unbeaten this season, while Somerville has yet to win a match.
The match was composed of eight one-on-one pairings ranked by depth. Each pairing played nine holes, and the winner of each hole earned one point for his team. Ties resulted in a half-point for both golfers, and at the end of all eight pairings the team with the most points won.
No. 1 golfer Higgins, a senior, was tied with Medford junior Maxine Harney with 1 ½ points after three holes, but Higgins then took control, winning two holes and tying three more. Higgins beat Harney 5-4 for his first win and finished with a score of 42.
“I know how to hit the ball, that’s not my problem,” Higgins said. “It’s just when I start overthinking stuff … that’s when I mess up. If I just go up there and swing, then I know I can hit it where it needs to go.”
Anderson, a junior and the Highlanders’ No. 2 golfer, hit in the same foursome as Higgins. Unlike Higgins and his late-game surge, Anderson started quickly, winning the first three holes outright. His 3-0 lead held up against Medford junior Charlie Chouinard, and Anderson also won 5-4. He finished with a 46.
“Once I went up 3-0, I played more comfortable, because I knew I had the lead,” Anderson said. “I was just playing to protect it.” Anderson also said Chouinard played “a little rusty.”
Both Higgins and Anderson also said strong putting contributed to their victories, in Anderson’s case helping to overcome a poor driving day in which he was “just slicing a lot.”
Somerville’s strong showing at the top did not carry beyond the first foursome, however, and Medford won all six remaining pairings. Sophomore Connor Lonergan and junior Cory Mortell – the Mustang’s no. 6 and 8 golfers, respectively – both won all nine holes in their pairings.
Notable among the inexperienced lower six for the Highlanders was freshman and No. 7 golfer Tyler Jacques, who on the seventh hole chipped in a 50- to 60-yard birdie on a par 3.
Somerville coach Jay Hart said his team’s performance was admirable, given Medford’s strength.
“Medford’s probably going to win the GBL, so for them to win the first two matches, I think that was very good,” Hart said.
Besides Higgins and Anderson, Hart said, the loss came down to Medford’s easy access to real golf courses on which to train.
“Most of our opponents play golf regularly,” Hart said. “Most of my players only play when I take them to practice or take them to matches.”
Despite a losing streak that now stretches to before the 2010 season, Hart said his players maintained a good attitude, simply enjoying the competition and learning experience of playing on a true golf course like Indian Ridge.