Weddington Golfers Improving

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Weddington High School
Conference: Southern Carolina Conference
Coach: Ron Bays
Between the Lines: Senior Ethan Schwartz qualified for the Class 3A Golf Championships as a junior and a freshman. … The top three teams in the SCC advance to the regional where the top three teams there advance to the state tournament. … Individuals not on advancing teams can also move on to regional and state play.

The Weddington High boys golf team entered the season lacking experience but Warriors coach Ron Bays said the Warriors are improving with each Southern Carolina Conference match. Bays said the Warriors have the potential to finish high enough in the conference standings to earn a berth to the regional golf tournament in May.

Weddington has finished third in its first two SCC matches, the last being at Emerald Lake Golf Club March 14.

“We have really just started,” Bays said. “This is really a new team. We don’t have a lot of returners. I have four returners and two are seniors. I have one junior and one sophomore. I have three new guys.”

Ethan Schwartz is the most experienced Weddington golfer as the senior qualified for the Class 3A Golf Championships as a freshman and junior.

“Ethan is the leader of the golf team,” Bays said.

Bays said Schwartz’s experience not only helps himself but it is a positive for the rest of the team. Schwartz earned a bid to state last year as an individual after prevailing in a three-hole playoff at the regional tournament.

“Ethan knows what it takes to play in a high-stakes tournament,” Bays said. “There were 40, 50 people following the three kids and he won it on the second hole. He understands what it takes to play in high-pressure matches. He has experience competing and that is valuable to everyone else.”

Tyler Moorehead, Bradley Link, Cody Hammer, Ben Lasseter, Rob Moore and Trevor Tugman are all expected to contribute as the season progresses.

“We are a solid team,” Bays said. “Tyler is definitely going to score for us most of the time. When Ben is on, he is a strong player and Bradley has the potential to score in the 30s for us. We have some work to do during the season where we can make it to the regionals and beyond.”

Between matches, Bays said the Warriors work hard on improving their game.

“We hit the range,” Bays said. “We work on chipping and putting. I think our team scores will improve. In our second match (March 14), our team scores came down a little bit. They are starting to get into a groove. They know what the problems are and they are starting to address them.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at