The main focus for Bryant golf Coach Keith Dale last season was to make Bryant golf "bigger." After a pretty good season in 2011, Dale has both of his teams off to rocking starts thus far in 2012.
So far, the Bryant boys team has two first-place and two fourth-place finishes under its belt. Drew Castleberry, a freshman, carried Bryant in the season's first match with a score of 71 at the Texarkana Razorback Invitational. Castleberry usually plays as the team's No. 3 golfer, but Tyler Green, the teams number one, and Austin Harmon were both unable to participate since they were playing in a tournament in Missouri.
Green and Harmon returned for the team's second match of the year, helping Bryant take fourth in Conway. Green shot a 76, followed by Castleberry who shot an 80. Harmon rounded out the top three for Bryant with an 81. Overall, Bryant shot a 321 in their fourth-place effort.
Bryant got back to their winning ways three days later with a first-place finish at Hurricane Golf and Country Club in Bryant. Dale broke his boys up into two teams. Bryant White won the overall with a final score of 157, edging out Lake Hamilton by three strokes. Bryant Blue finished third with an overall score of 183. The tournament was a 9-hole affair instead of 18.
Bryant ran into a bit of a slump in their last tournament, finishing fourth once again, this time at El Dorado. Green led the Hornets with a 79, followed by Harmon and Castleberry's postings of 80 and 84. El Dorado finished first with a playoff win over Conway. Both teams were tied at 317 after 18-holes. Lake Hamilton took third with a 327.
With the season well underway, Dale has his sights on keeping his guys healthy and playing consistent.
"The biggest thing is to keep them all healthy," Dale said. "I am also trying to expose them to a lot of different courses throughout the season. We have lots of different matches lined up here and there."
Dale took his team to Hot Springs Village for a 9-hole practice on Thursday afternoon.
"The rest of the time we are going to try and expose ourselves to as many different scenerios and try to improve our game as well as possible," Dale said. "We are wanting a strong and reliable team that is very consistent. That is one thing we have going for us right now."
As for the Lady Hornets' golf team, they are not playing bad at all either. After only playing three matches thus far, the Lady Hornets have two second-place and a first-place finish.
The Lady Hornets finished first at Hurricane with juniors Savanna Cathey and Peyton Weaver leading the way. Weaver shot a 38 to lead the team while Cathey and freshman Abigail McGee both shot a 44.
Bryant finished second at Conway and at El Dorado.
"I have eight girls that are stout golfers," Dale said. "You are only as good as your last score in the game of golf." In the girl's matches, only the top three scores go through, unlike the guys who have four. "As long as my girls don't have a bad day, we are fine. But I'm wanting my fourth and fifth girl to be as good as everyone else so we can continue to build our program and have good seasons like we are trying to have," Dale said.
Both teams will take to the course once again on Aug. 20 when they travel back to Conway. Start time for the matches is set for 3:30 p.m.