Langley golfer Thrasher

Langley High grad Eli Thraser played in the tournament at River Bend. (From Dartmouth)

The site of the tournament was the home course for the Langley High School golf team for its matches and practices. 

So it was like a home event when the recent Virginia State Amateur Championship at River Bend Golf & Country Club in Great Falls began, because there were six current or former Langley golfers playing in the men’s field.

One was 2017 graduate Brandon Berry, who tied for medalist honors after the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the tournament with a 66-67–133 total of 9-under. He was one of two top seeds in the preceding match-play portion of the event, where Berry lost in the first round, 1-up.

The other Langley players competing were graduates Jason Pool, Eli Thrasher and Matthew Feinstein and current team members Chase Nevins and Suneil Peruvemba.

All are or were accomplished players at Langley, with Pool winning a high-school individual state championship in the 1990s and Thrasher a region title in 2017.

Current Langley player Kelly Chinn qualified but was unable to participate because he was preparing to play in the United States Amateur.

“It was so awesome and a big deal to have so many Langley players there,” Thrasher said. “It was like we were trying to defend our home turf at River Bend. We have all played so many rounds and tournaments there before. We felt like it was a home event.”

Marshall High School’s David Stanford played in the state amateur and shot 5-under 69-68–137 in stroke play to advance to match play as he tied for fourth.

In match play, Stanford won his first four matches, the first 2 and 1, the second 1-up, the third 4 and 2 and the semifinals 5 and 4 to reach the final against Mark Lawrence Jr., a Virginia Tech graduate student.

In that title match, Stanford fell behind early and eventually lost to Lawrence by a 3 and 2 score to finish second.

Stanford won the National District and 6D North Region individual high-school championships last fall for Marshall, helping the Statesmen win the district team title in addition.

This year’s fall high-school season has been postponed to possible the early spring of 2021.

“He has really become such a good player,” Thrasher said of Stanford.

He did not play in the Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament, playing in another competition instead.

Madison High graduate Reeve Felner was another participant.

Also in stroke play but not making to cut to advance to match play, Peruvemba shot 74-70–144 for 2-over, Pool was 4-over at 73-73–146, Nevins was one shot higher at 72-75–147, Thrasher shot 74-74–148, Feinstein 76-73–149 and Felner 74-78–152.

Pool was the 2005 stroke-play winner of the event.

Thrasher plays college golf at Dartmouth, Feinstein of William and Mary and Berry at Loyola University of Maryland. Felner will play at Belmont University.

Current Langley golf coach Al Berg attended the  event.

“To have coach Berg (nicknamed Papa Berg) there watching and supporting us was outstanding,” Thrasher said. “He is such a special coach to all of us.”

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