Monday was make-or-break time for area golf teams, and several squads and individuals didn't disappoint.
Regionals were held across the state with the top two teams in each region as well as a number of individuals earning berths to the state tournament set for Oct. 2-3 at Speidel Golf Course at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.
At the top of the list is George Washington, which rolled to a win in the Class AAA Region 3 tournament held at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club.
While the Patriots didn't produce an individual champion, its four members played solidly enough to will GW well past a crowded field, beating second-place and fellow qualifier Shady Spring by 17 strokes.
George Washington coach B.J. Calabrese was both happy and relieved at the end of the day.
"It feels great to win, I was really nervous coming in," Calabrese said via phone interview. "It's kind of a challenging little course. It's not a long course, but it's kind of tight. The biggest thing is, I think my kids over the last three, four weeks of the season have become really resilient. At one point I was disappointed with the way we were finishing rounds and tournaments - we'd get off to a good start and falter coming in. After nine today I heard Will [Evans] was 3 over and Drew [Call] was 7 over and I was thinking, 'We better correct this real quick.'
"But Drew made some birdies and finished 5 over, Will had a couple of birdies coming in to finish 1 over and [Austin] Florence and [Kris] Webster were both consistent all the way through their rounds. I just love the way we finished."
Oak Hill's Craig Buchanan fired an impressive 6-under-par 64 to earn one individual qualifying spot while Greenbrier East freshman Madison Erkine claimed the other with a 77.
Individual qualifying spots were awarded to the top two finishers not on a qualifying team.
Calabrese said coming into Monday's tournament that he felt his team was strong and could vie for a state championship. Now GW will get a chance to do just that and Calabrese is not backing off his stance.
"It's going to take 3 good scores, and obviously you want to see all four of them play well," Calabrese said. "We've played University, we've played Wheeling Park, and we've played Winfield, who will be three of other teams who have legitimate shot at it I think. I really feel like we can compete."
The two players tied for medalist honors at the Class AAA Region 4 tournament held at Sleepy Hollow with both shooting 4-over 76 and earning their way into the state tournament.