Bedford wins golf title

PORTSMOUTH – A little wind couldn’t bother the Bedford High School golf team.

No, the Bulldogs, even though they hadn’t even practiced at neutral site Portsmouth Country Club, rode a one-over par 73 from sophomore C.J. LaDue to take their fourth straight Division I team title on Tuesday.

“We just told the kids to keep it in the middle of the fairway and two putts,” Bedford coach Dan Colburn said. “Especially on a windy day. We’ve got to keep it in the middle, keep it low and keep it out of trouble. Don’t try to do too much with the ball, keep it simple.”

They kept it not only simple, but with a 398 team total, six shots ahead of both Keene and Pinkerton, who tied for second at 404. Pinkerton was actually awarded the second place plaque due to the sixth golfer tiebreaker.

The Bulldogs, despite being three-time defending champions, weren’t the favorites going in, as they finished 16-4, tied for fourth during the regular season with Bishop Guertin.

But they clearly had the right touch on Tuesday. Stoughton Bell had a 77, while Brady Burke (81), Luke Ramsay (82), and Jon Giroux (85) rounded out the team scoring. LaDue leads the individual event and will return to Portsmouth CC on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., along with Bell (tied for fourth), Burke and Ramsay, all of whom made the 83-score cut.

As for the team event, Salem was fourth with a 413 while Concord rounded out the top five at 417.

The other team scores were Exeter at 420 in sixth, Dover seventh at 422, Bishop Guertin and Alvirne tied for eighth at 427, just ahead of Timberlane, which was 10th out of the 10 teams at 428.

Guertin’s tough day was a surprise. The Cards, who had a rebuilding year last year, had lost to Bedford by a combined three shots in 2014-15.

They didn’t know the course,” Guertin coach Paul Rousseau said of his team. “It was windy, and they got nervous. They don’t play in enough tournaments I think, just to walk out here and play in a state tournament.

“And once it starts going bad, you start pressing. And once you start pressing, it’s tough. You can’t get it back. It’s a funny game. You have to be mentally prepared the whole time.”

Cam Sheedy led the Cards with a 10-over 82. Jack Fitzgerald had an 84 and Ryan Morgan an 85. Alex Koutsos and Graham Diack each had an 88.

The killer it seemed for many was the back nine, which is near the water and the wind conditions get worse.

“Once they went down 10, 11, 12, out there, in the Great Bay, you need two extra clubs and they’re swinging as hard as they can, that’s what screws them all up,” Rousseau said. “They think they have to hit it 5,000 miles. Just in the fairway, on the green. Just let it happen.”

The Bulldogs did, and now they’re champions again. Who knows when this streak will stop?

“We’re really young, we only had one senior (Connor McCullough),” Colburn said. “We’re pretty deep, we’ve got a good JV program, so we’re looking to keep it going.”7