- Last Updated on 08:36 AM 08/14/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Peter Gasperini thought he was in real trouble after his tee shot missed the green on the third hole in his playoff against E.C. Glass High School’s Connor Burgess in Monday’s Heritage High School Invitational Golf Tournament at London Downs Golf Course in Forest.
“He’s a great ball striker,” the Halifax County High School golfer said of Burgess, “and I figured he’d hit the green and, for sure, two-putt.”
Burgess missed the green as well, with his tee shot going far right of the green. Then it came down to the basics of chipping and putting.
As was the case with the tee shots, neither player executed their second shot very well.
“He (Burgess) ended up duffing his first chip shot,” Gasperini explained.
“I had a tough chip shot, it wasn’t one that was that hard to execute, but I just didn’t hit it and left myself on the fringe of the green about 22 feet away from the hole for a par.”
Burgess made a run at Gasperini, chipping his ball to within two feet of the cup. Gasperini answered by holing his putt from the fringe to save par on the par 3 168-yard hole to win the hole and take home the tournament’s individual title.
“It was awesome to see the ball go into the hole,” Gasperini remarked.
“This is the biggest win I’ve ever had. There were a lot of big names in this tournament and a lot of big names have won this tournament in the past. It just feels really good to win.”
Gasperini is the first Halifax County High School golfer to win this tournament in many years, possibly the first ever.
“Peter is the first player from the high school that I’ve known to win this tournament,” noted Comets Golf Coach David Graham.
“He is the first player I’ve had since I’ve been coaching the golf team to win it. Winning in a playoff and going 1-under-par with a par, birdie, par is solid playing. It’s awesome.
“This is a big win,” added Graham.
“Some of the best high school players in the state, including the state’s top-ranked player, Mark Lawrence of Mills Godwin High School, played in this tournament. This is one of the best high school tournaments in the state.”
Gasperini and Burgess both carded 4-under-par rounds of 68, and had to wait for the better part of an hour for all of the other players to finish before setting out to start the playoff. The wait, Gasperini said, was tense.
“I putted a little bit and myself, Coach Graham and the team talked a little bit. It was pretty nerve-wracking standing on the first tee, but I had a good tee shot on the first hole and made par.”
As a team, Halifax County High School made a good showing, turning in a score of 318 to finish in a tie for eighth-place with Charlottesville High School. In addition to counting Peter Gasperini’s round of 68, the Comets counted a 77 from Josh Irby, an 85 from Joey Gasperini and a round of 88 from Alex Tepper. Anna Carole Cole turned in a round of 98.
“I thought we made a good showing,” Graham said.
“We had to count a couple of scores in the mid to upper 80’s that we know we can bring down. I think we’re capable of knocking off 10 shots from what we shot in this tournament.
“We saw and learned some things we need to work on,” added Graham.
“We know what we need to work on and that is a big help. We just need to keep working and keep on making a good effort.”
In individual play, Lawrence, from Mills Godwin High School, Drew Lagan of Cave Spring High School and Phillip Hoffman of Charlottesville High School tied for third place behind Peter Gasperini and Burgess with each carding even-par rounds of 72.
Results of the Heritage Invitational Golf Tournament at London Downs (par 72).
Co-Medalists - Connor Burgess, ECG; Peter Gasperini, HC
E.C. Glass (295) - Connor Burgess 68, Prescott Terrell 74, Trey Moon 76, Gray Wiley 77, Jimmie Massie 78.
Mills Godwin (297) -Mark Lawrence 72, Colton Grow 73, Brian Hill 74, Curt Kennedy 78, Jack Hetzer 84.
Tunstall (305) - Eric Squier 74, Chandler Wilkins 75, Rand Gibson 77, Andrew Moon 79, Casey Dillon 83.
James River (315) - Luke Arney 76, Sean Kessler 79, Trevor Statome 79, Hunter Thompson 81, Aaron Atkins 83.
Cave Spring (316) - Drew Lagan 72, Meagan Board 76, T.K. Garrett 80, Richard Fishwick 88, Paul Wheelock 102.
Jefferson Forest (316) - Zeke Shen 74, Brian Touna 76, Matthew Staney 81, Landon Moore 85, Harry Hodgert 92.
Hidden Valley (317) - Brad Williams 73, Harry Preas 79, Kristin Hearp 81, Jack Henry 84, Sam Comer 85.
Charlottesville (318) - Philip Hoffman 72, Ben Perkins 80, Tad Probst 83, Banks Northington 83, Ryan Cox 92.
Halifax County (318) - Peter Gesperini 68, Josh Irby 77, Joey Gasperini 85, Alex Tepper 88, Anna Cole 98.
Blacksburg (319) - Hunter Duncan 76, David Tolley 78, Katie Turk 79, Will Linkenhoker 86 Kelby Zeiger 87.
Lord Botetourt (321) - Lyndsey Hunnell 74, Hal Bailey 75, Jacob Barnard 79, Luke Matthias 93, Jack Quarles 94.
Rockbridge County (328) - Peter Shaner 78, Tristen Hoffman 80, Gus Spencer 84, Cole Huffman 87, Ely Spencer 90.
Appomattox County (331) - Andrew Driskill 80, Chase Mayberry 82, Zach Perkins 84, Bruce Shober 85, Chandler Harvey 89.
Rustburg (336) - Hunter Campbell 78, Hunter Metz 82, Blake Wisecarver 83, Austin Brooks 93, Ashley Hall 94.
Western Albemarle (340)- Kyle Landis 79, Tyler Mahon 83, Jake Thompson 86, Joe Squillace 92, Erin Redgrave 100.
Magna Vista (340) - Taylor Wall 84, Brandon Taylor 84, Drew Thacker 86, Cullen Moran 86, Corey Light 100.
Patrick Henry (343) - Hill Donihe 79, Robert Brailsford 86, Jake Scheiderer 86, Thomas Vance 92, Jordan Black 103.
Bassett (349) - Bryce Varner 79, Nick Williamson 85, Cory Hearn 87, Ria Farley 98, Austin Wright 98.
Liberty (351) - Rucker Shipp 86, Jordan Clark 87, Ryan Rodes 87, Lamie Carroll 91, C.J. Weeks 105.
Amherst County (363) - Will Keesee 82, Cameron Blair 84, Chris Holguin 94, Jacob Lloyd 103, Tyler Floyd 107.
Salem (369) - Elliot Gardner 78, Cole Massey 89, Clayton Austin 98, Joe Thomas 104, Hunter Sampson 109.
Brookville (419) - Jake McCormick 97, Jessee Johnson 97, Will Price 109, Jackson Clay 116, Austin Miles 122.
G.W. Danville (490) - Christian Blankenship 109, Peyton Hudson 122, Toby Addis 126, Eli O’Donald 133.
Heritage (NC) - Chandler Wilks 115, Anthony Wilson 128.