Tigers take first leg of Gary Wells cup

Friday, August 22, 2014
Marshall County's Zach Smith hits an approach shot towards the green on the sixth hole at Henry Horton State Park. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the race to claim the Gary Wells Cup when they defeated local rivals Forrest and Cornersville in the first leg of the event at Henry Horton State Park.

MCHS had three players shoot 40 or better and recorded a team score of 159 after playing the front nine holes at Henry Horton.

Marshall County

Forrest's Gary Lukonen hits a short par putt on the fourth hole at Henry Horton State Park.

"I'm glad to come out and match our best score of the year. I'm also glad to come out and shoot well on a course that we haven't played on much," said Marshall County coach Alex Phelps.

Forrest and Cornersville also turned in solid rounds, as the Rockets finished with a 175, while the Bulldogs tallied a 177.

After struggling in his last match, junior Zach Smith bounced back in strong fashion and shot a two-over par 38 to lead the Tigers.

Cornersville's Colby Downs chips onto the green on the sixth hole at Henry Horton State Park.

"It's good to see Zach get back on track. We got on the range and worked on some things. He swung it better today than when he shot a 35 a couple of weeks ago," said Phelps.

Senior Brooks Leftwich continued his steady play and carded a 39, while Casey Beard fired a 40. Davis George also notched a 42 for Marshall County.


Cornersville's Ellie Jackson sinks a putt on the eighth hole at Henry Horton State Park.

Despite bogeying the final hole, Forrest's Gary Lukonen turned in the best round of the day and paced the Rockets with a 37. Hawken King followed Lukonen with a 42, while Robert Garcia and Jarvis Lyttle both tallied a 48.

"Gary played well today. He's capable of doing that every time he comes out here," said FHS coach Jeremy Jean. "I think we played ok overall. I would have liked to have seen two guys come in a little lower, but we're improving."


Forrest's Dani Hoeft hits an approach shot towards the green on the ninth hole at Henry Horton State Park.

Cornersville senior Tate Lowery broke 40 for the second straight match and led CHS with a 39. Colby Downs fired a 42 for the Bulldogs as well, while Matt Karban and Zack Smith each carded a 48.

"I was pleased with how we played today. The kids shot some of the best scores that they've had all year," said Cornersville coach Joy McMasters.


In the girls portion of the Gary Wells Cup, the Forrest Lady Rockets opened up some early breathing room over Cornersville and notched a team score of 104 after taking the top two rounds from three players. The Lady Bulldogs finished 13 strokes off the pace with a 117.

Dani Hoeft and Caitlin Burt both shot a 52 for Forrest, while Cornersville's Ellie Jackson and Carly Salsman tallied a 58 and a 59 respectively.