Not even a hurricane could slow down Casey Finger last week.
The Churchill senior navigated Poolesville Golf Course in 3-under 68 on Sept. 28, one day after the remnants of Hurricane Jean dumped four inches of rain on the par-71 course, leaving standing water in the fairways and turning sand bunkers into swimming pools.
Finger's score earned him top honors at the Montgomery County District II Tournament and helped the defending Maryland 4A/3A champion Bulldogs take home their second straight team title. The Bulldogs claimed the top three spots to shoot a 284 -- 14 strokes better than second-place Walter Johnson.
Churchill senior Ryan Wielgus shot a 1-under 70 to place second and sophomore Billy Peel posted a 1-over 72 for a third-place finish. Senior Matt Benz, who placed second in the district and sixth in state last season, rounded out the Bulldog finishers by shooting 74 to finish sixth.
"With all the problems that were out there on the golf course, we showed an ability to overcome them," Churchill second-year coach Arnold Tarzy said. "The golf course under normal circumstances would have been closed. But it stayed open for us because they knew the kids would be walking. It was very difficult conditions."
Nobody handled those conditions better than Finger, whose long drives helped him overcome the soggy conditions. Standing just over 6 feet tall, Finger regularly drives the ball over 300 yards off the tee -- out-distancing competitors whose shots got very little roll in the wet fairways.
"Casey has the ability, because of his tremendous length, to dominate any golf course," Tarzy said. "It did give him an advantage given the fact that you couldn't get much roll [in the fairways]. A lesser player, who can't power the ball, would normally benefit because of some roll."
Making Finger's round even more impressive was that he was forced to take a penalty stroke on the fourth hole. He lost a ball when it was buried after he drove it into the short rough.
Walter Johnson was guided to a second-place finish behind Alex Oshonsky, who shot 73 to finish tied for fourth with Whitman's Quinton Saum. The Wildcats' Sam Werner and Dennis Kwon each shot 74 and Trevor Malet posted a 77 to help secure a state tournament berth for Walter Johnson.
Damascus (312) claimed the final spot into the state tournament, beginning Oct. 26 at the University of Maryland. Robby Ferguson was the Hornets' top finisher with a 76.
The top three teams and 10 individuals -- not including players from qualifying teams -- advanced to the state tournament.
Note: In the girls' district tournament, Jessica Unger of Whitman shot a 76 to win medalist honors; Magruder's Hillary Lawson (78) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Kelly Fitzgerald (89) were second and third.