For two days in the hot sun, Cumberland High collectively played its best golf of the season at the RIIL State Championship.
Its efforts were amply rewarded.
Jamison Randall earned the individual title and, along with his teammates, the Clippers captured the team crown on Wednesday afternoon with a four-stroke victory over Portsmouth and North Kingstown at the Cranston Country Club.
After scoring a four-player score of 312 on Tuesday, Cumberland matched that score again yesterday. Randall, a runner-up in 2010 for individual honors, took home the hardware by firing a 3-over 74 to finish with a 36-hole score of 145 and a one-shot win over Coventry’s Seamus Fennelly. La Salle senior Juliet Vongphoumy had the best score of the afternoon with a 73 and was third at 148. Comprising the remaining scores for the victorious Clippers was senior Jack Andrade (79-78 157), senior Mike Ray (79-80 159) and sophomore Brenden Guerin (83-79 162).
Randall’s win is the first for Cumberland since Chris Simmons copped the individual prize in 1989. The team plaque comes two decades after the Clippers won three straight from 1989-91.
“It was just one of those days,” said elated CHS coach Jim Dickinson. “The kids all played well. It all came together (the past two days), which is nice. “
Randall, who tied medalist honors with Fennelly after the first day of competition with an even-par 71 on the challenging Cranston layout, held the lead for most of the afternoon. He suffered one of his lone setbacks – a rather big setback - at the 475-yard 13th where he scored a quadruple-bogey nine, hitting two of his shots out of bounds.
Fennelly birdied the hole to take a two-shot lead. Randall rebounded from the gaffe and retook the front-runner position on the 545-yard 17th where he landed his third shot to within five feet of the cup and sank his putt for birdie, while Fennelly bogeyed the hole. Ahead by a stroke, Randall maintained his lead and earned the win when the two players each birdied the 18th.
“He was doing well and then he hit a roadblock,” said Dickinson, about Randall’s unlucky 13th. “To his credit, he was able to turn it around. He has learned over time that you can’t let things like that get you down. He is just one of those kids that is very patient and is not going to get ahead of himself. He was able to bounce back….I am really happy for him.”
The Clippers’ remaining players also played solidly the past two days. Andrade, who had been struggling during the season, was the most surprising. He proved his opening round 79 was no fluke by doing one-stroke better on Wednesday.
“He went out this week and had a good couple of days at practice,” Dickinson said. “He just went out and played great two days in a row. He works hard. The kid deserves it.”
The Cumberland coach feels Ray has been one of his most steady golfers all season.
“Besides Jamison, he has been consistent all year long," Dickinson said. "He has been super consistent which is great.”
Guerin arrived to the tournament just a few minutes before he teed off. That didn’t seem to affect his mindset as he fired a round that was four-strokes better than the day before.
“He got out of his car, took like three putts and took off,” Dickinson said.
Cumberland defeated the Skippers and the first-day leading Patriots with a 624-628 win. Four-time defending state champion Barrington was fourth with a score of 636.
Dickinson felt his team had a chance to win the crown all day long. His confidence began from the first tee.
“Every single guy hit it down the fairway,” he said. “I just told them to go have some fun and they did.”
RIIL State Tournament
At Cranston Country Club, par 71
Top 10 scores
1. Jamison Randall, C, 71-74 145
2. Seamus Fennelly, Cov., 71-75 146
3. Juliet Vongphoumy, LaS, 75-73 148
4. Owen Heath, NK, 77-76 153
5. Ryan Southworth, NK, 76-78 154
6. McKinley Slade, NK, 79-76 155
7. Jack Bauer, Ports., 77-79 156
8. Alex Grimes, Ports., 77-80 157
9. Matt Occhi, Ports., 77-80 157
10. Stephen Miller, Barr., 79-78 157
11. Jack Andrade, C, 79-78 157
12. Kory Nadeau, Burr., 78-80 158
16. Mike Ray, C, 79-81 160
23. Brenden Guerin 83-79 162
29. Devin Vota, MSC, 81-89 170