Boys state golf roundup: Veterans guide Milton to third straight title

Credit: Special photo

Credit: Special photo

Three Milton players shot par or better on the final day and the Eagles hung on to win the Class 7A championship for the third straight year.

Milton closed with a 281 to finish at 570 and beat rival Lambert by seven at Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta. Lambert had beaten Milton by one shot at the Area 4 tournament but not even a final-round 278 could catch the Eagles this time.

“That was the best thing that could have happened to us,” Milton coach Tom Dell said. “We had been winning a lot of tournaments and it’s easy to get complacent. That was a good wake-up call and let our guys know they couldn’t just show up.”

The Eagles are the first team to win three straight in the highest classification since Tift County did it from 1995-97.

Milton senior Mason Fundingsland shot 70-71—141 to tie for second. The Eagles also counted a 143 from junior Drew Sacia, who shot 69 the last day to finish sixth overall, and 145s from junior Aman Vantipalli and seniors Craig Long and Rahul Rajendran. Long also closed with a 69. Senior Jack Davis shot 150.

“We’re lucky to have four seniors who have a ton of tournament experience,” Dell said. “They’ve had such good careers and wanted to end it on a god note.”

The seniors missed the school’s graduation ceremony on Monday because they were in Valdosta, but were able to receive their diplomas at a special service conducted during last week’s graduation practice. The Milton seniors were in caps and gowns and walked in front of their classmates and friends.

Lambert was led by freshmen Evan Kim (144) and Sahish Reddy (145), followed by Wesley Hu (146), Nick Schwendiman (147), Michael Lee (150) and freshman Michael Washburne (151). Hu shot 68 the last day.

The medalist was Rohan Gopaldas, a junior from North Gwinnett, who shot 69-67—136 and won by five over Fundingsland and Luke Able of Carrollton.

Walton (587), Lowndes (588) and North Gwinnett (590) rounded out the top five. The tournament was troubled by rain the first day, with two delays, and didn’t finish until 7:30 p.m.

Class 6A: Glynn Academy outdueled Gainesville 591-596 to win the championship at Jekyll Island’s Pine Lakes course. It was the Terrors’ 14th state title, but first since 2011,

Glynn Academy rode a 3-under 141 from senior Williamson Mosher and counted Hank Holcomb (T4, 147), Shep Davenport (151) and Ellis Strong (158). Gainesville finished strong with a 294 on the final day, but it wasn’t enough. The Red Elephants were led by junior Brigham Ralston, who finished tied for fourth at 147.

Johns Creek, winners of six straight titles, finished third at 605, with Lakeside-Evans fourth (606) and Creekview (611) in fifth.

South Paulding sophomore Brant Carman finished second (145) and Barrett Loftis of Lakeside was third at 146. Woodward Academy’s Glover Amick tied for fourth at 147.

Class 5A: Cambridge got balanced scoring and won the championship at Cartersville Country Club. The Bears shot a final-round 297 to finish at 600. Northgate (610), Cartersville (612), Calhoun (613) and Harris County (613) rounded out the top five.

Cambridge was led by four juniors – Jamison Bryant (149), Tripp Beaty (152), Cole Womack (153) and Patrick Burns (159) – and senior Nate LeMoyne (160). It was the second state title for Cambridge and first since 2015.

Sophomore Trace Carter of Ware County shot 5-under 139 to nab medalist honors, three shots ahead of Harris County’s Andrew Korytoski. Cole Stockard of Dalton (144) was third and Brody Tidwell of Cartersville (145) was fourth.

Class 4A: Lovett’s Zidan Ajani and Ryan Ohde finished two-three to help the Lions win their fourth straight state championship. Ajani shot even-par 144 and Ohde shot 146 at Whitewater Creek Country Club in Fayetteville to help Lovett finish at 297, seven shots ahead of North Oconee, the two-time defending Class 4A champions, and 19 ahead of Westminster, who had won four straight Class 3A titles, and Wayne County.

The medalist was Antonio Juarbe, a senior from Wayne County, who shot 73-69-142. North Oconee was led by Landry Short, who tied for fourth with Westminster’s Matthew Young at 148. Zach Shafer (152) and Park Howell (156) also counted for Lovett.

Class 3A: Juniors Andy Scott and Alex Holcomb shot 73s to tie for second overall and lead Wesleyan to victory at Bull Creek in Columbus. The Wolves shot a final-round 298 to finish at 603. Richmond Academy was second at 626, followed by Hebron Christian (635), Columbus (639) and Savannah Country Day at 640.

The medalist was Brycen Jones of Thomasville at 2-under 144. Jacob Fortner of Hebron was fourth at 147 and Ananth Thomas of Columbus and Evan Rogers of Hebron tied for fifth at 149.

Wesleyan’s Ben Brown was 10th (155) and Beau Jackson was 18th (158).

Class 2A: In a tournament shortened to 18 holes by rain, Mount Paran Christian won its first state title at the Okefenokee Country Club in Blackshear. The Eagles shot 290 to run away from Walker (324), Banks County (326), Athens Academy (328) and Fellowship Christian (334).

Mount Paran freshman Brody McQueen shot a 6-under 66 to win the tournament by six shots over teammate Jace Butcher. They were the only players at par or better. Mount Paran also county Zach Peterson (74), Sam Binkley (78) and Tucker Thompson (78).

Bo Shuler of Eagle’s Landing Christian and J.B. Knight of North Cobb Christian tied for third with 74s.

Class A Division I: Prince Avenue Christian won its third straight state championship at Arrowhead Pointe Golf Club in Elberton. The Wolverines shot a 301 to beat Darlington and Mount Vernon, who tied for second at 309.

Prince Avenue’s Will Baker was medalist at 3-under 141, edging Elbert County’s Brady Starrett by one shot. Maddox Drake of Prince Avenue was third at 1-under 143 and Rocco Lopez of Darlington finished fourth at 147.

Prince Avenue also counted a 168 from James Douglas and a 161 from Josiah Eterno.

Class A Division II: Lake Oconee Academy made it three in a row with an easy win at Belle Meade Country Club in Blackshear. The Titans shot 603 to beat Aquinas (648) and Christian Heritage (649).

Lake Oconee had the top three finishers – medalist Colby Bennett at 142, Drew Williams at 144 and Rhett Smith at 154. Robert Bosart tied for ninth at 164. Charlie Hargrove of Aquinas tied for third at 154 and Jake Eason and K.T. Seo of Christian Heritage tied for fifth at 155.