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Kelly, Bulldogs off to strong starts on the golf course
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MATT MCCARLEY ... CHS golf coach - photo by Johnny Deal/ Bowtie Photography

Camden sophomore Wills Kelly fired a tournament-best, 1-under par 71 to help the Bulldogs’ golf team to a second-place finish in the Pondo Preview at Ponderosa Country Club in Batesburg Leesville.

The one-day, 18-hole event was hosted by Gilbert High which won the team championship. 

The 71 score marked the first time in which Kelly was a tournament medalist in his high school career for head coach Matt McCarley.

Evan Younghans was next for the tourney runners-up with an 83. That was followed by an 85 from Wylie Nash, an 86 from Dylan Cassidy and Drew Neal’s 88. Robert Inabinet was next with a 90 followed by teammates David Bishop and Patrick Lindsay who carded a 93 and a 98, respectively.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs’ A squad finished fifth in the 23-team Panther Invitational hosted by Carolina Forest and played over the Hackler course at Coastal Carolina University.

Kelly finished second overall with his 73 being two strokes off the winning total of 71.

Inabinet was next with an 82 with Younghans firing an 83 while Lindsay carded an 85. Cassidy was next with an 89.

The Camden B team finished 19th in the one-day, 18-hole event. Bishop and Neal both finished with 87s with Thomas Joseph next with a 92. Nash carded a 92 with Zach Cameron and Winn McKittrick next with matching 97s. James Reames had a 99.

Camden returns to the Camden Country Club today, hosting 5A entries Lugoff-Elgin and West Florence along with fellow Region 4-AAA entry Indian Land.

McCarley said that while he likes what he has seen from his players, there is still room for improvement.

“Wills Kelly is off to a great start and is learning to manage the golf course and not trying to overpower it,” said the head golf pro at the Camden Country Club and former University of South Carolina golf team captain. “He has a chance to be a very good player, but must continue to work hard on golf course management.

“The other guys are close to playing good but must get a lot better from 50 yards and in.  In order to compete for the state championship, which we are hosting this year at Camden Country Club, several guys are going to have to start shooting in the 70s.”