BY MAT CLOUSER
PINEHURST, NC — The Otter Valley high school boys golf team wrapped up what was arguably the greatest golfing season in the school’s history last week with the NHSGA High School Golf National Invitational Tournament at the famed Pinehurst Golf Course in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
The boys snagged OV immortality last fall and qualified for the 53-team national tournament by absolutely crushing the Vermont Division II state tournament—winning their first title since 1969 by 22 strokes over second place Stowe—a victory that the ever-swaggy swingin’ Otters had predicted before the season even began.
Ace golfer and team leader Lucas Politano (’25)—last seen winning the New England Junior PGA Championship in June—shot a +17 for the three-day tournament, finishing 27 strokes back of the tourney’s winner, Virginia’s red-hot Jake Albert (-10), good enough to tie for 83rd place out of more than 330 competitors from all over the country.
Joining Politano on the historical team were his older brother Thomas Politano (’23, T294th, +67), Matthew Bryant (’23, T294th, +67), Jordan Beayon (’23, 312th, +84), and Hayden Bernhardt (’22, 327th, +116). The team finished in 47th place overall.
Though they may have liked to place higher in the national tournament, the future is bright for the Otters as Bernhardt is the only member of the team not due back next season to defend its title.
Next up for Lucas Politano will be the Junior PGA Championship at the Cog Hill Golf Course and Country Club in Chicago, Il, August 2-5.