Tigers golfers take down Columbia and Shelbyville

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Marshall County's Austin Blade, shown here against Summit, shot an 85 at Graymere County Club on Thursday to help the Tigers sweep a three-team match against Columbia and Shelbyville. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

With the District 11-A-AA tournament less than three weeks away, the Marshall County Tigers golf team began their preparation for the postseason by defeating the Columbia Central Lions and Shelbyville Golden Eagles in an 18-hole match at Graymere Country Club on Thursday after competing in the Keith Maxwell Invitational two days earlier.

Taking the four best rounds from six players, the Tigers (12-5) posted a team score of 364 to sweep the match, while Columbia was nine strokes off the pace and tallied a 373. Shelbyville finished a distant third with a score of 389.

"The closer we get to the end of the year the more 18-hole matches we're going to play in order to get ready for the District tournament. I want them to get out of that nine-hole mentality and get used to playing 18 holes," said MCHS coach Brent Johns. "I'm happy that we were able to beat two triple-A teams. Coach (Hal) Murrell is one of the better golf coaches in middle Tennessee so it's always big for us to beat Columbia.

Junior Austin Blade was the low man for the Tigers and carded a 85 on the day. Brooks Leftwich followed Blade with an 88, while Miller Sale and Wilson Limbaugh turned in a 90 and 101 respectively.

"Austin is our number one player, but Brooks isn't far behind and has nearly an identical average score. Those two along with Miller have been pretty consistent for us and we're going to have to lean on them in the postseason," said Johns. "The course was in great shape, but it played tough today because the conditions were pretty severe."

Jackson Calvin recorded the second lowest score of the match and led the Lions with an 84. Jacob Bushey also turned in a solid round for Columbia and finished with an 86, while Nolen Bone and Robert Johnson registered a 101 and a 102 respectively.

Sterling Smith recorded the best round of the afternoon and paced the Golden Eagles with an 83. Kyle Cunningham followed Smith with an 87, while Stetson Blackwell and Sam Orrell notched a 109 and a 110 respectively.

After taking on county rivals Cornersville and Forrest in the second leg of the Gary Wells Cup at Saddle Creek Golf Course on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Tigers will face Giles County on Thursday at Henry Horton State Park.