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Dyer remains dominant; RCB wins Big 10 title

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

BRIDGEPORT -- Robert C. Byrd's Adam Dyer continued his stranglehold on Big 10 golf, and, in turn the Eagles continued to dominate conference play.

The junior shook off a potentially damaging start to shoot a 1-over 73 and Robert C. Byrd shot a team total 322 to win its third consecutive Big 10 title, this one coming at Bridgeport Country Club.

Dyer's 73 took medalist honors, while teammates Stephen Rogers (79), Travis Cottrill (84) and Mike Walker (86) rounded out the Eagles' scoring. In addition, all four were named to the all Big 10 team.

"As a group, we've been looking forward to this all year," Dyer said. "This is a big boost for this time of year. Regionals and states are coming up, and to get a boost like this is big.

"There's a lot of pride in winning this. It's sort of like an ego boost for the whole team."

Lincoln and South Harrison tied for second at 354, and Bridgeport was third at 355. Grafton (371), Liberty (389) and Philip Barbour (400) rounded out the tournament field.

"Adam's just a solid player," Robert C. Byrd coach Rocky Zannino said. "He's upset at himself if he shoots a 2- or 3-over. His goal is always par or better, and that's what makes him so special to this team.

"Today, all of our guys played solid rounds and that was the difference. Last year, we had three make all-conference, but this year I think the teams were a little stronger. All of those kids are capable of breaking 80 on any given day."

Dyer, who bogeyed his first two holes, made the turn at 37 and went on to birdie Nos. 9, 13, 15 and 17. He began the week by winning a tournament on the Plantation Junior Tour on Saturday and Sunday. Monday's win was his second Big 10 conference title in a row. As a freshman, he placed third.

"I feel ready (for regionals)," Dyer said. "Right now, I'm driving as well as I have all year. I'd like to get a few more putts to fall, but it seems like I'm able to make the putts that I need to.

"Overall, I'm happy with the way I played today and the way I've played all year. The thing I like the most is the way I've played under pressure. Sunday, I had to birdie 17 and 18 to win and was able to make both putts."

South Harrison's Jeff Messenger continued his solid play. Messenger shot a 40 through the front nine and was out at 35 for a 75 -- the second best score of the tournament. Bridgeport's Tyler Francis shot a 79.

Grafton's Justin Mayle (84) and Lincoln's Tony Hamrick (86) joined Dyer, Messenger, Rogers, Francis and Cottrill on the all Big 10 team.

The team consists of the top eight finishers in the tournament.

Bridgeport's Jason Glisson shot a 79, but was disqualified for signing the wrong scorecard.

"I know it was just an oversight on his part," Bridgeport coach Richard Bailey said. "He's been playing golf for a long time, and he's very knowledgeable on all the rules.

"This sport is all about following rules, and it was just an honest mistake by Jason."

Lincoln's Dave Decker also was believed to be disqualified for having an incorrect total on his scorecard. However, each individual hole was recorded correctly -- only the final score was incorrect. By high school rules, Decker was not DQed.

Lincoln standout Jared Bryant was unable to recover from a front-nine, 45, and finished with an 89.

Robert C. Byrd and Lincoln will join Bridgeport in Friday's six-team Pete Dye Prep Classic at the Pete Dye Golf Club. Tee off is at 1:30 p.m.

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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