Fifty-two high school District 11A/AA golfers took to the links at Henry Horton State Park on Tuesday to compete in the boys district golf tournament. The Marshall County Tigers continued their domination of the event as they claimed their 14th consecutive district championship.
The Tigers were led by senior Seth Lintz, who blazed the course for a one-over-par 73 to earn the top medalist spot. Trey Cashion, helped by a deft short game, had a solid 84. Lefty, Zach Cross shot twin 43's for an 86, Conner Kennedy pitched in with an 87, and Drew Sanford came home in 97 strokes.
Lintz said after the match, "More than anything else, it means the team is going to the region. I am most happy for coach Wells. He has done a lot for me and has expected a lot from me. I am happy for him."
Rockets earn berth to region tournament with 3rd place finish
The Tiger's team total of 330 was fourteen shots clear of runner-up Page. The Forrest Rockets earned the final spot in next Monday's Region 6A/AA Tournament with a team total of 352, just one shot ahead of Spring Hill.
Rocket sophomore Coy Shultz, the fourth seeded golfer on the squad fired a smooth 84, which propelled the Chapel Hill squad into the region tourney. Shultz, who shot a nice 39 on the front nine, was awarded the fifth medalist spot for his clutch performance.
Senior Doug Lukonen shot an 86 to help Forrest advance, Taylor Schoenberger was next with a 90, Page Blasingim had 92, and Michael Herron hit the century mark with a 100.
Cornersville did not advance, finishing in seventh place with a team total of 405. Lucas Lasater led the Bulldogs with a 93, Kevin Smith recorded 100 strokes, Lucas Griggs had a 104, Seth Singleton shot 108, and Abel Singleton wrote down 113 on his card.
Lintz did not waste any time taking the lead. He was one under par after three holes with an easy two-putt birdie on the par 5 third hole. Lintz finished the first half of the round at one under 35, four shots clear of Shultz and Zack Walton from Spring Hill, and five ahead of Kyle Clanton from Cascade, Mason Pugh from Spring Hill, and his own teammate Cashion.
Lintz made a routine par on the long par 4 tenth hole as he bombed his drive even with the 150-yard marker and reached the green in regulation. He made a twisting six-footer for the four. He drove it to the fringe on the short par 4 11th and made birdie, along with Page's Aaron Gaddis.
Both players drove it over the hill on the dogleg left twelfth hole and each reached the green in regulation. Lintz three-putted and Gaddis made par to cut the lead to four.
On the monster par 5 thirteenth, Gaddis had the honors and hit a beautiful iron 15 feet above the hole for a good look at birdie. Lintz hooked his tee shot left and made a remarkable chip that rolled just six feet from the hole. Gaddis missed just to right on his birdie attempt, and when Lintz burned the edge of the cup for another bogie, the lead was just three.
Lintz nailed a 320 yard drive on the par 5 fourteenth and reached the green in two, some 40 feet below the hole. Gaddis just missed left, but chipped nicely to within 8 feet. Lintz three putted for par and the Page senior rolled in the birdie to cut the lead to just two strokes with three holes to play.
The long, par three sixteenth would be the deciding hole in the match as both players hit the green with their tee shots. Lintz executed a tough 30 foot downhill breaking lag putt to within two feet and made par. Gaddis putted from about 20 feet below the hole and raced the putt by some eight feet.
He missed the putt coming back and bogeyed the hole, giving Lintz a three shot lead with just 17 and 18 to play.
Again, Lintz sailed his driver into the sunny summer sky some 330 yards. He easily pitched up to with 15 feet and two-putted for par. Gaddis also had a par on the hole and Lintz retained the three shot margin heading to the final hole.
"Long-ball" Lintz crushed his drive over the trees on the right of eighteen into a tough spot. He attempted to cut a 6 iron around the bend, but the ball got caught up in the branches of a tree and fell back down and blocked out.
Gaddis was in the middle of the fairway with some slim hopes of catching the Marshall County senior.
Lintz played the shot of the round as he executed a perfect punch through the trees and onto the front fringe of the green. He calmly chipped up to 3 feet above the hole and nailed the putt for the 73 and medalist honors.
"I came in with the approach to dominate everybody," Lintz said. "I hit everything well today except my driver on the front nine, got some breaks and capitalized on them.
I was never worried about someone else. I did not know how close anyone was to me and I can't do anything about it anyway."
Also qualifying for the region tournament in the singles portion were Gaddis with 78, Walton with 81, Michael Frost from Eagleville with 83, Mason Pugh from Spring Hill with 85, and Cascade's Kyle Clanton with 85.
Cody Wright from Cascade earned the last spot with a two-hole play-off win over Ethan Campbell from Boyd Christian.