Leonard Park entered Tuesday’s 6A golf state tournament final round in seventh place individually after shooting a 74 on Monday.
The Kellam freshman had two goals in mind: help improve his team’s fourth-place standing and finish in the top six individually to qualify for the All-State team.
He did both, and then some.
Leonard’s 71 tied for the lowest round of the day with South County’s David Ross and placed him second overall in the tournament with a 145 two-day score. That left him two strokes behind Ross’ 143.
Park was the only freshman who finished in the top 15.
“It’s just real impressive,” Kellam coach Jason Copeland said. “He didn’t let anything faze him.”
Park started the day with three consecutive bogies before settling down on the back-nine. He even held a first-place lead before Ross, a senior, finished strong.
“I took coach’s advice and never gave up,” Park said. “It’s what he’s been telling me all year.”
The Knights as a team also impressed on the second day.
Kellam bounced back from a rough 326 outing on Monday and tied for the lowest round score (308) with state champion Chantilly. The Knights (634 combined score) finished third behind Chantilly (607) and Riverbend (627). Oakton finished fourth with 646.
Cam Barackman’s 72 was the second-best round of the day behind Park and Ross. The sophomore’s 151 total placed him eighth individually.
“About as good of an ending as we could have hoped for after the off first day,” Copeland said. “We wanted to show that we were capable of doing that. They’re already talking about a return trip, which is never easy getting there, and they know that.”
Two other golfers from Virginia Beach did well in the competition. Landstown’s Brandon Kelly and First Colonial’s Teddy Hoffmann tied for 11th overall with two-day scores of 154.