From staff reports

In Winchester, rising Rustburg High senior Nick Rakes turned in a 1-over-par 72 on the final day of the Virginia State Golf Association’s Junior Stroke Play Championship at Winchester Country Club and finished in a four-way tie for 24th place Thursday.

It was Rakes’ best round of the three-day tournament. He managed two birdies (at Nos. 2 and 17) to go along with 13 pars and three bogeys at the par 71 course.

He finished at 8 over and with a total score of 221, after an opening-round 75 and a second-round 74.

Rakes strung together nine straight pars Thursday, a streak that began at No. 3 and continued until No. 12, where he bogeyed the 196-yard par 3.

The only other Lynchburg-area golfer in the field, Jefferson Forest’s Garnet Manley III, finished in a two-way tie for 41st place by posting a 7-over 78. The rising senior had 11 pars in his final round, but was plagued by seven bogeys, including a span of four out of five holes on the front 9 and three straight on the back side, at Nos. 15, 16 and 17.

Manley was 16 over for the tourney and posted a three-day total of 229. He shot a 76 the first day and a 75 on Wednesday.

David Stanford (Marshall High) won the event after posting a 3-under 68 on the final day. He won by one stroke over Tuscarora’s Michael Brennan, who also fired a 68 Thursday.

Stanford led by one stroke at the end of all three rounds.

Stanford and Brennan went back and forth Thursday. But Stanford, with his careful play and soft hands around the green, took the lead for good at No. 16, a par 4. He then showcased his strong around-the-green play with pars on the final two holes to hold off Brennan.

Stanford is a 15-year-old who will be a junior at Falls Church-based Marshall when school convenes next month.

“It’s just such an honor to win this,” he told the VSGA, “because this is the state championship.”

Stanford was consistently sharp the entire tourney: he recorded his best round, a 66, on Tuesday and then followed that with a 70. He was 9 under for the entire championship, with a cumulative score of 204. Brennan was 8 under with a 205, while Roanoke-based Ross Funderburke was 7 under.

The three players separated themselves from the rest of the field in the final round. Only two other players, Alex Price and Will Watson, finished under par (both at 1 under).

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