Leftwich goes low, Tigers in control for Wells Cup

Friday, September 14, 2012
MCHS's Brooks Leftwich, who shot a one over par 37 on Tuesday, sinks a tough par putt on the par 3 seventh hole at Saddle Creek Golf Club. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Marshall County High School opened up an almost insurmountable gap in their quest for the coveted Gary Wells Cup, coming away with a 16-stroke win over Forrest Tuesday at Saddle Creek Golf Club in the second leg of the event.

The Tigers now stand at 328 total strokes in the three-match event with Forrest in second place at 363 and Cornersville in third with a 433 score.

On Tuesday, Brooks Leftwich went low to lead the Tigers' charge, shooting a one over par 37 to get back in the race for the Jeff Jones medal, which will be awarded to the low medalist in the Wells Cup matches.

Cornersville's Taylor Carlton pitches his golf ball up to the first green at Saddle Creek Golf Club.

Leftwich has a cumulative score of 85 in the two events.

"I am just three strokes off now and I need another good day when we play Horton to get back into it," said Leftwich about his quest to capture the Jones medal.

MCHS' Wilson Limbaugh, who shot a 42 on Tuesday is in the lead for the Jones medal with an 82 in the two matches, while fellow teammates Austin Blade and Miller Sale trail Limbaugh by a single shot at 83.

Rocket golfer Gary Lukonen chips to the fourth green at Saddle Creek during his team low round of 39.

Forrest senior Blake Tansil also is one shot back at 83 and his teammate Gary Lukonen is right on the doorstep with a cumulative score of 84.

Lukonen led the Rockets with 39 on Tuesday, while Tansil was off his game a bit, shooting a 44.

"I am really proud of the way we played today, especially the performance out of Wilson Limbaugh," said MCHS head coach Brent Johns. "If he can give us a score like that in tournament play, we will beat most people."

Sale carded a four over par 40 on Tuesday, while Blade shot a 45.

Johns added, "I also feel good about where we are with Blade, Sale and Leftwich. All three have been very reliable."

Leftwich putted beautifully, saving par with the short stick on several occasions with his only letdown coming on the ninth green where a three-putt par ruined his chance for an even par round.

"Today I putted surprisingly well and it brought my score down dramatically from the last time we played these two teams," said Leftwich. "I just enjoyed the day today and I didn't have too many bad shots and I recovered from the ones that weren't as well as the others."

Austin Nichols came home in 46 for the Rockets and Hawken King signed his scorecard for a 50.

Tate Lowery led Cornersville with a 41, Matthew Karben shot 54, J.D. Crabtree carded a 63 and Taylor Carlton rounded out the Bulldog scoring with a 64.

The Tigers now stand at 14-5 on the season and have a great chance to play some golf, deep in to the post-season.

The District 11A-AA Tournament will commence at Henry Horton on Sept. 24 and the Region 6A-AA Tournament is scheduled for Oct. 1 at Lawrenceburg Country Club.

The road will not be easy for the Tigers as the defending district and region champions from Cascade are having another solid season and are still the team to beat.

"They are a good team and they are pretty stacked, but we can get them," said Leftwich. "If we can pull in some good days at district and region, we can definitely have some guys, or the whole team get to state. All we need is it to all come together."

The TSSAA Class A-AA State Tournament will be played at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester and is slated to begin on Oct. 9.