Surviving a Playoff in Districts, Golf Advances to the Regional Tournament

After a grueling 18 holes and four golfers scores counting, it took two playoff holes to beat Heritage and move on.


Courtesy Lifetouch Photography

The smiles for the golf team from this preseason team picture haven’t stopped as they are headed to the Region Tournament for the first time since 2014.

Twenty holes is something that does not exist on a golf course, but that is exactly what it took for the team to beat Heritage by one stroke in a two-hold playoff to qualify for Tuesday’s Region Tournament at Winchester Country Club, the first Region tournament for the team since 2014.

After a different season last year by playing in February, the team focused on a successful return to the fall season. Fourth year coach Anthony Eifler said, “I was super excited for the team because that’s been a goal of ours all season.”

Rock Ridge won the District title with a score of 294, followed by Loudoun County at 297 and Dominion and Heritage tied at 318 before the two hole playoff.

The challenge increases as only two teams from the Region will advance and compete at the state competition. “I think we’ve got a pretty good chance of beating most of the teams on the other half of our region. But Rock Ridge and Loudon County are both two really, really good teams. So if we have only two teams advance from regionals to states, we would have to beat one of those two teams.”

A key addition to this year’s team has been newcomer Kyndall Campbell. Eifer said about her impact, “Kyndall moving into Dominion really helped us. We would have been decent. And that’s no shot at anybody that was here last year on the team this year. Kyndall’s just really good. I mean she came in second in the district. So when you add a player like that, it sort of raised the level of competition for everybody else on the team trying to sort of keep up with them.”

Another leader this year has been Lauren Cottet Moine whose district play was integral to their advancing, along with the score of Campbell and Andrew Burtner. Teddy Childs and Tank Jones shot identical scores as the fourth scorer for the team. 

Earlier this year, the golf team lost on September 9 to Loudoun County 168-150, but beat Heritage 162-185 on September 14. “Our team went out in the playoff against them and did what they were supposed to do. It was really cool to see some of the guys cheering them on from the sidelines and we made good shots,” Eifler said.

Senior Aayush Saxena says there were a lot of nerves involved on the sidelines. “It’s hard to watch other people play when you know you could play it too, but it was really exciting when you know we won in the playoff,” Saxena said.

Sometimes luck helps a team advance. Jones says part of getting to a playoff was luck, since one of the Heritage kids was disqualified for signing “an invalid scorecard.” He said, “It was in our favor [in order] to win and now we’re in Regionals.” 

Aayush says he was watching as teammate Burtner “sunk the winning putt”, that forced Heritage and Dominion into the playoff. 

“I just want to, if I play, have a good round and hopefully our top four plays really well then we can go to States,” Saxena said.