For only the third time in the 33-year history of the Quantico High School Golf Invitational, thunderstorms forced the abbreviation of play, cutting the two-day, 36-hole event into an 18-hole tournament. The rain came early in the round at the Medal of Honor Course at the Quantico Marine Base, allowing just one-third of the 168-player field to finish nine holes, tournament director Ken Mesa said.
"We're just going to start all over tomorrow," Mesa said. "All the scores from today are wiped out, and we'll see what happens tomorrow. With the size of the field, it's going to be a good five- or six-hour round. So we're going to start them one hour earlier tomorrow and try to get it in."
With the likelihood of playoffs given that the tournament is only 18 holes, coaches said that starting play earlier is a must, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m.
"You've got to get them out earlier," Osbourn Coach Bob Lake said. "With just 18 holes there will almost certainly be individual medalist playoffs, and there could even be team playoffs."
While rain threatened to end play throughout the morning, Fairfax senior Matt Johnson threatened to run away with the tournament. Johnson, who lost in a playoff at Quantico last year, birdied three of the last four holes to shoot a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine.
Brookville's Bill Fedder shot an even-par 36, joining Johnson as the only other player to finish at even par or better on the day. Defending champion Craig Mason of Hayfield did not finish his nine holes. Chantilly freshman Jenny Suh, who won the Bobby Bowers Classic this summer, used a birdie at the par-3 18th to shoot 38. Some players, though, were not all that disappointed that play was cancelled.
"I was playing horrible; I'm glad it stopped," Hylton's Chris Gentile said.
The Quantico Invitational is one of the largest high school tournaments in the country, Mesa said. Each team brings four players, and this year 42 schools showed up to compete for the team title.
"It's a shame," Fairfax Coach Milt Papke said. "We need the rain, but you wait for this tournament all year and then this happens."