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STA Golf Wins Inaugural DCSAA Championship, Lester Takes Individual Title in Extra Holes

The DC State Athletic Association hosted the first-ever DC State Golf Championship at Langston Golf Course Thursday.  Coming off a stellar second-place finish at the IAC conference tournament two weeks earlier, the STA golf team was excited to match up with WCAC Champion Gonzaga and neighborhood rivals Sidwell Friends and St. John’s to see who would take the DC crown.  Overcast skies and a slight breeze made for favorable playing conditions on the historic course that opened in 1939 and is named for John Mercer Langston, the first African-American to represent Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (elected 1888).  As groups completed their first nine holes, coaches and tournament officials knew the team totals would be very close.  The format of the tournament was that each team would count its top 4 scores out of 5 players entered in the field.  Excitement among players and coaches grew as groups came to the clubhouse from the 18th green to certify and sign their scorecards. 
Junior Grant Lester was the first Bulldog to complete his round and was tied with Sidwell’s Andrew Ludwin for the overall tournament lead with a 2-over par 74.  A St. John’s player finished third at 4 over and two Gonzaga players finished tied for 4th with +5’s.  STA senior Jack Holland shot a 7-over 79 for 6th overall and right behind him was junior Jackson Sheridan with an 80 that put him alone in 7th place.  Sheridan’s score was pivotal and was capped by a clutch up and down out of the sand for par on 18.  Oliver Wang worked through several unlucky shots in his round and scrambled on several holes to save par or bogey.  The sophomore maintained his composure, birdied the par-5, 508-yard 16th hole and finished with an 84 and a three-way tie for 12th with players from Gonzaga and St. John’s.  When all of the scorecards were checked and certified, the Bulldogs edged Gonzaga by two strokes with a 4-player score of 317. 
While the team title was being calculated, Lester and Ludwin headed out to the 9th tee for their first playoff hole to decide the individual winner.  Lester pulled off heroics late in his round to propel STA to the team win and get himself into the playoff.  Ludwin held a 1-shot advantage after the first 9 with a 1-over 37.  The left-handed Sidwell junior birdied #10 to open a 2-shot lead and extended the lead to 3 shots heading to the par-5 16th.  That’s where Lester capitalized on his length off the tee with a monster drive and birdie to close to within two shots.  Lester followed that with a birdie at the par-4 17th to narrow the gap to one stroke with one hole to play.  On the final hole Ludwin recorded only his 4th bogey of the day while Lester parred to force the playoff. 
The sudden death playoff started at the par-4, 388-yard 9th hole, which both players parred in regulation.  Both players hit solid drives, Ludwin down the left side and Lester down the right side, reached the green in two and two-putted for pars.  The playoff moved on to the par-5, 465-yard 1st hole, the longest hole on the course.  Ludwin birdied the hole in regulation and Lester parred it.  After an excellent drive by Ludwin down the left side, Lester smashed a 335-yard drive down the right side that landed just off the fairway.  Lester’s second shot checked up a few feet before the front edge of the green.  He then knocked his chip to 8 inches.  Ludwin parred the hole and Lester tapped in for birdie to take the individual title and close out a historic day for STA Golf.
The Bulldogs tee it up again Saturday in a 9-hole playoff with Landon to decide the IAC’s second bid in the Metro Championship Tournament.  Georgetown Prep secured the first IAC bid with regular season and tournament titles.  Landon finished second in the IAC regular season with STA in third.  STA topped Landon for second place in the IAC Tournament resulting in the playoff.  The first group is scheduled to tee off at 3:00pm at Worthington Manor Golf Club in Urbana, MD. 
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.