By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Williams returned to a form of golf royalty after an unusual gap between boys’ conference championships.
The Bulldogs finished the conference season with a 20-shot margin on runner-up Western Alamance after Monday’s league-ending 18-hole round at The Valley Golf Course in Burlington.
Western Alamance’s Zach Wilson shot even-par 70 in the 18-hole championship round.
Second place was shared by Eastern Alamance’s Gryffin Behler (75) and Williams’ Jordan Harless (75). Christos Katsoudas (80) of Williams and Tyler Clayton (80) of Western Alamance rounded out the top five.
Though Williams was the conference champion, Western Alamance secured the top spot in Monday’s round with 321 to Williams’ 325.
Williams hadn’t won a conference championship since 2019. This marked the 27th league title for the Bulldogs under coach Tommy Cole, who’s in his 39th season.
“It’s something we’ve been waiting on for a while,” Katsoudas said. “It’s kind of a tradition for Williams to win, and I happy to bring it back.”
Williams held a one-shot cumulative lead on defending champion Western going into last week’s final nine-hole rounds, but the Bulldogs picked up 23 strokes on the Warriors combined between competitions on their home course at Alamance Country Club and at Mill Creek Golf Club. The Williams team score of 152 at Mill Creek was its best nine-hole total of the season.
“Last week was very, very good for Williams,” Cole said. “(Monday) was a lot of wind and wet ground. They’ve got to adjust to that and learn from it.”
Williams and Western were the only team contenders. There was a 105-stroke gap between the Warriors and third-place Cedar Ridge.
“The last two weeks has been a battle royale between us and Williams,” Western coach Mike Pennington said.
In conference competition, Wilson was the individual champion by 14 shots on both Katsoudas and Brehler. Harless and Williams teammate Jon Pellerito held the next two spots.
Wilson was also the Alamance County champion earlier this season.
“I wanted to win this one, too,” he said. “I’d rather it not be so easy to win.”
Wilson shot 2-over on the front side and 2-under on the backside. He had birdies on Nos. 10 and 17. He missed just one green in regulation.
In earlier matches at The Valley, he twice had nine-hole scores of 39, so this was an improvement.
“I felt like I’ve been hitting it really well,” he said.
Williams, Western and Cedar Ridge teams advance to next Monday’s Class 3-A regional at Highland Country Club in Fayetteville. They’ll be joined by individual qualifiers Gryffin Bheler and Max Brehler of Eastern.