Photo: Glencoe High’s Lauren Cole displays the ball she shot for a hole-in-one during the Class 1A-2A-3A girls state golf tournament on Tuesday (May 15) in Muscle Shoals. (Submitted photo)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Westbrook Christian boys golf team finished 36 strokes short of a fourth straight state championship at the Class 1A/2A state tournament on Tuesday (May 15) in Muscle Shoals.
Sparked by Will Wethington’s individual runner-up score of a three-under-par 142, the Warriors’ overall score of 650 was second to Donoho’s 614.
Wethington’s four-under-par 68 score on Tuesday was the best round of the day in his class. He finished just two strokes behind low medalist Jacob LeCroy of Donoho.
Also for the Warriors, Jackson Bowman’s 161 score was good enough for ninth place. He was followed by Logan McClendon in 12th place (174), Jackson Cox in 14th place (177) and Ridge McHugh in 19th place (183).
“I thought our guys really played great, especially with the heat index over 100 (degrees),” said Westbrook boys golf coach Jay Bowman. “Our overall score was the best we’ve done all year, which is impressive on that tough of a course and under those conditions. Our goal was to qualify (for the state tournament), and to finish runner-up was great. I had three kids who never had played in a tournament like that, so we had a lot of rookies out there. We just ran into a team that had a bunch of seniors, but we bettered our score on the second day, so I was very proud of them.”
Bowman noted that Wethington and LeCroy battled down the stretch on both days.
“They were basically in match play the whole time, and it was fun to watch. Four-under-par is exceptional on that course. Everyone is coming back and we should make it back to state next year; we just have to work harder and see if we can get closer to 300.”
The Glencoe boys took third place in the Class 3A tournament. The Yellow Jackets finished with an overall score of 808 behind champion Houston Academy (584) and Providence Christian (608). For Glencoe, Brock McNeely placed seventh individually with a 151 score, followed by Justin Graham in 19th place (213), Jordan Yancey in 20th place (217) and Garrett Fairley in 21st place (227).
Helped by Lauren Cole’s hole-in-one, the Glencoe girls finished fourth in the girls Class 1A-2A-3A tournament. Using a pitching wedge, Cole’s ace came on the Schoolmaster Couse’s par-3, 101-yard 16th hole in Tuesday’s round. She finished with a two-day score of 153 to tie for third place individually. She shot 77 in Monday’s opening round and 76 on Tuesday.
Abby Powell placed 17th with an overall score of 236, followed by Camryn Blackwell in 18th place at 240.
The Lady Yellow Jackets compiled an overall score of 629 behind Providence Christian (475 total), Bayside Academy (498) and Clements (578).
“I’m very proud of my team just for achieving a state tournament bid,” said Glencoe girls golf coach Jason Pierce. “It’s an outstanding experience in which very few athletes get to experience and end their season with. The weather was beautiful but it was very hot. One of the parents figured it out that our girls walked about seven miles both days, and our girls did a good job of staying focused.”
Pierce reserved special praise for Cole, a junior who has been a member of the varsity for the past five seasons.
“When the pressure’s on, Lauren steps it up to another level. For lack of a better term, all eyes are on you in a two-day state tournament, and she played very well. She’s done that before for us this year, and I think that maturity of her part.”
Etowah High’s Eli Antisdel tied for 13th overall with an overall score of 161 scores competing as an individual in the Class 5A boys tournament.