Golf blog: Six teams defend state championships

Devin Patel, shown here from the 2020 Georgia Amateur Championship, finished second at the 2021 GHSA Class 6A championship and helped his team win the boys championship.
Devin Patel, shown here from the 2020 Georgia Amateur Championship, finished second at the 2021 GHSA Class 6A championship and helped his team win the boys championship.

Credit: Kate Awtrey

Credit: Kate Awtrey

Six teams successfully defended the state golf championships they won in 2019 and three schools swept the boys and girls divisions in the tournaments that were completed on Tuesday at sites throughout the state.

Successfully defending their titles were the Lambert girls in Class 7A, the Johns Creek boys in Class 6A, the Westminster boys in Class 3A and the Lake Oconee Academy girls in Class A Public. The St. Pius boys and Woodward Academy girls moved up in classification to 5A and defending their titles.

The sweeps went to North Oconee in Class 4A, Lovett in Class 2A and Lake Oconee Academy in Class A Public.

Here is a look at each classification:

Class 7A boys: Milton’s top three players finished among the top four, including medalist Craig Long, and the Eagles rolled to victory at Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton. Milton finished at 22-over 598 and won by 16 over Lambert. Defending champion West Forsyth was third. Long finished at 1-over 145 after rounds of 73-72, two shots ahead of teammate Rahul Rajendran’s 76-71. Will Jones tied for fourth at 5-over 149 and Mason Fundingsland added a 78-79.

Class 7A girls: Lambert won the state championship for the seventh time in the last eight years with an easy win at Sunset Country Club in Moultrie. The Longhorns had a 442 team total and took a 42-stroke win over runner-up Peachtree Ridge. Medalist Averi Cline led Lambert with rounds of 72-73, followed by Sara Im 74-74 and Iris Cao with 75-74, leaving the Lions with the event’s top three finishers. Sharon Mun, whose score wasn’t counted, finished fifth overall with 75-78 153.

Class 6A boys: Johns Creek won its fifth straight state championship in dominant fashion at Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton. The Gladiators finished at 5-over 573 and beat runner-up Carrollton by 17 shots and third-place Dalton by 30. Deven Patel finished 5-under after rounds of 70-67 and finished second. Bruce Murphy (1-under 141) was fifth, Taiki Miyagi was ninth (3-over 145) and James Baker (8-over 150) led the Johns Creek effort. The medalist was Brantley Baker of Lee County, who shot 68-67 to finish at 7-under 135. Caleb Wall of Carrollton was third at 3-under 139 and Hogan Ingram of Rome was fourth at 2-under 140.

Class 6A girls: Creekview held on to its big first-round lead to win the title over rival Johns Creek at Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton. Creekview shot a 54-over 480 to beat Johns Creek by 10 and avenge its defeat in the area tournament two weeks ago. Carrollton, led by medalist Loralie Cowart’s 1-over 143 (72-71) was third at 80-over 506. Creekview was paced by Makena Dubois (third at 10-over 152), Lindsay Wayland (fourth at 160) and Samantha Buchberger (168).

Class 5A boys: St. Pius, which won the Class 4A title two years ago, made it two straight titles at Green Island Country Club in Columbus. The Golden Lions posted a 17-over 585 team total and defeated Cartersville (27 over) and Woodward Academy (38 over). St. Pius was led by Carter Loflin, who had a 68-73—141, but he fell one shot short of the individual title, which was claimed by Cartersville Buck Brumlow’s 72-68—140. Finley Burke of Wayne County (144) and Andrew Korytoski of Harris County (145) finished third and fourth. St. Pius also got a 146 from Shaun Cook, a 150 from Liam Tice and a 151 from William Hermann.

Class 5A girls: Woodward Academy, led by co-medalist Morgan Ellison, won its third straight championship at Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton. The War Eagles finished at 50-over 488, good for a three-shot win over Northview and a 10-shot lead over three-time defending state champion Starr’s Mill. Calhoun’s Ella Manley matched Woodward’s Ellison with an even-par 146. Woodward’s Ally Francis placed third at 5-over 151, and Sophia Morettini shot 87-104. Northview counted a 79-78 from Erica Scott and an 85-79 from Alicia Choi, an 86 from Julia Yun-Thayer and an 84 from Lauren Siegel.

Class 4A boys: North Oconee had the top four finishers at the University of Georgia Golf Course and enjoyed a runaway victory. The Titans were led by medalist Luke Koenig, who shot rounds of 69-75 to finish at 2-over 144. North Oconee’s Luke Jarvis was second at 70-76—146, Eli Rogers was third at 73-74—147 and Freddy Chappell tied for fourth at 73-75—148. North Oconee shot a 17-over 585 and beat Marist by 24 shots. Rush Williams tied for fourth at 74-74—148 to lead the War Eagles.

Class 4A girls: North Oconee rode a balance scoring attack to the state championship. The Titans shot a 62-over 494, giving them a 32-shot win over Marist and 37-shot win over Northwest Whitfield. Madi Chappell led North Oconee with a 75-78, with Camryn Wright shooting 83-86, with Leah Anderson shooting a 84 and Abigail Hill shot 88. Northwest Whitfield’s Sara Burger shot a 3-over 147 and was the medalist.

Class 3A boys: Westminster made in three in a row with a convincing win at the Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell. The Wildcats shot a 30-over 598 to beat Richmond Academy, which was second at 57-over 625. Medalist Harris Barth shot a 1-under 141 and was joined by teammates William Love, who was fourth at 3-over 145, and Price Miller, who tied for sixth at (76-77—147). Westminster counted Jacob Wood’s 81 on Monday and Robert Herzfeld’s 84 on Tuesday. Richmond Academy’s Christopher Saul was second at 1-over 143, followed by Monroe Area’s Perry Austin Kilburn (2-over 144).

Class 3A girls: Catie Craig shot 71-74 and led White County to the state championship at Apple Mountain Golf Club. The Warriors shot a 40-over 472 and won by 30 shots over North Hall. Craig finished second to North Hall’s Mikayla Dubnik, who had rounds of 71-69 for a 4-under 140. Kyra Dube of Westminster was third at 7-over 151 and Motoko Shimoji of Greater Atlanta Christian was fourth at 8-over 152. White County also counted Erin Dorsey (86-77) and Rylee Adams (83-81).

Class 2A boys: Brycen Jones of Thomasville shot an 8-under 136 to run away with the medalist title, but Lovett easily won the team championship at Southern Hills in Hawkinsville. The Lions shot a 17-over 593 and enjoyed a 40-stroke victory over rival Pace Academy. Rabun County was third a 68-over 644. Lovett was led by Brady Rackley and Luke Ferrara, who finished two-third; Rackley shot 2-over 146 and Ferrara was at 3-over 147. Wade Shepherd was sixth (8-over 152) and Zidan Ajani tied for seventh (9-over 153) for Lovett. Pace’s top scorer was Ben Shelton, who finished fifth with a 79-73—152.

Class 2A girls: Blair Maner was second and Alicia Kim was fifth to help Lovett win the title at Southern Hills. Maner shot a 12-over 156 and Kim finished at 21-over 165 to lead the Lions. The medalist was Lainey Painter of Fannin County, who shot 77-75 to finish at 8-over 152. Lucy Wiegert of Bleckley County finished third at 13-over 157 and Christian Williams of Bremen was fourth at 16-over 160.

Class A Private boys: In the most competitive boys tournament, Price Avenue Christian edged Brookstone and Savannah Country Day by two shots to bring home first place at Heritage Golf Links in Tucker. The Wolverines shot a 22-over 598. The medalist was Brookstone’s Bo Blanchard, who shot 69-68 for a 7-under 137 and beat Reed Lotter of Savannah Country Day by two shots, despite Lotter’s final-round 66. Prince Avenue was led by Will Baker, who tied for third at 4-under 140. Parker Houck was fifth at 2-under 142, Hunter Smith tied for 17th at 9-over 153 and Dallas Pettus (80-83—163) led Prince Avenue.

Class A Private girls: Reagan Southerland was first and Haven Ward was third and Holy Innocents’ won the title at Heritage Golf Links in Tucker. Southerland shot 72-67 to finish 5-under and score a four-shot win over Mary Miller of Savannah Christian, who shot 70-73. Ward 72-73 to finish 1-over 145. Athens Academy and Tallulah Falls tied for second at 11-over 299. Maggie Jackson (fourth at 3-over 148) and Brinson Hall (eighth at 8-over 152) led Talullah Falls and Meredith Bennett (fifth at 4-over 148) and Ally Buchanan (T6 at 7-over 151) led Athens Academy.

Class A Public boys: Lake Oconee Academy had little trouble, taking a 40-shot win at The National Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. The Titans shot a 32-over 608 to outdistance Metter, the two-time defending 2A champion, which finished at 648. Lake Oconee’s Rylan Black was medalist with a 3-under 141, which included a 68 on the final day. Ian Glanton of Metter finished second at 5-over 149, followed by J.D. Judd of ACE Charter at 6-over 150. Lake Oconee also counted Rhett Smith (77-79) and had two different players contribute scores each round – Andrew Williams (80) and Halsey Bosart (85) on Monday and Colby Bennett (68) and Tyler Urrutia (78) on Tuesday.

Class A Public girls: Led by three-time state champion Katie Scheck, the Lake Oconee Titans won their third straight state title at the National Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. Scheck, who has signed with Penn State, shot rounds of 73 and 72 for a 1-over 145, good for a nine-shot win over sister Kelli Scheck. The Titans also had Georgia Bosart finish fifth. Lake Oconee finished at 11-over 299 to beat Commerce (62 over), Portal (71 over) and Drew Charter (72 over). Portal’s Shelby Clark finished third and Cameron Ford of Commerce was fourth.

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