VASSALBORO — Winthrop rode strong rounds from junior Zach Pray and senior Jackson Ladd to the Mountain Valley Conference golf championship Thursday, edging top-seeded Monmouth by four strokes.

The Ramblers posted a four-player total of 375 in an 18-hole round on the Arrowhead Course at Natanis Golf Club. Monmouth, which broke away from Winthrop to form its own team this season, finished at 379, followed by Dirigo at 385 and Madison with 444.

“We all shot great,” said Ladd, who along with Pray shot 87. “We knew we were the underdogs coming in. We were just playing out here having fun.”

Teammate Cam Hachey shot 96 and Jake Carter 105 to round out the top four scores for the Ramblers, who lost to Monmouth in the regular season.

The win gives Winthrop an automatic bye to the state team championship scheduled Oct. 6 at Natanis. The MVC will hold a team and individual qualifier Wednesday at Natanis.

“It makes next Wednesday a whole lot more fun,” Winthrop coach Lonney Steeves said. “Monmouth and Dirigo both have great teams. Monmouth today didn’t have anybody else shoot that second good number. That’s what is takes to get there.”

Monmouth senior Trevor Flanagan was medalist on the day with an 80.

“I have played here quite a bit,” said Flanagan, who has a low round of 72 at Natanis. “I played pretty well. I had a couple of bad holes here or there but that’s golf. It happens.”

Flanagan and the Mustangs are excited to have their own team this season.

“It’s been a great experience for the kids to be able to play competitive matches throughout the season and have their scores count,” said coach Don Flanagan, father of Trevor and sophomore sister Abby who plays on the team. “We ended up having 10 players who came out this year so there’s 10 players who have gotten introduced to the game of golf.”

Trevor Flanagan posted six 3s on his card, which included three birdies. His younger sister shot 97 followed by Ryan Burnham with 99 and Matt Fortin at 103.

“Obviously, you play to win, but Winthrop had a great day,” Coach Flanagan said. “Zach Pray and Jackson Ladd put up some pretty good numbers. You have to tip your cap to them. Hopefully, we can build on this and learn.”

Ladd, who plays the No. 3 position for the Ramblers, had a career low Thursday.

“Having two kids break 90 today is something I did not expect,” Steeves said. “(Jackson) is the most unexpected one. That’s a great round. He’s been getting better and better all year, putting it in play. And better and better around the greens. He gets up and down a lot better now.”

Madison had a sub-par day but the season so far has been a success.

“Our guys are very raw,” coach Heath Cowan said. “I wasn’t sure we’d win a match this season so to be 4-4 and actually be playing for a conference championship is pretty impressive. I’m very proud of them, I really am. We get another shot next week. We played poorly today. We’re just as likely to shoot 390 as 450 so we’ll see.”

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