Brookstone, Columbus tied for lead at Hardaway Invitational

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerApril 12, 2013 

Neither Columbus nor Brookstone golfers felt like they had their best day on Friday at the Fort Benning Golf Course.

That, in itself, can be considered a positive.

The Cougars and Blue Devils were tied for first with team scores of 305 after the opening round of the Larry Gaither Hardaway Invitational. Etowah, which has two teams in the tournament, is also tied.

Brookstone, which is trying to be the first repeat champion since Glynn Academy in 2005, was led by James Clark and Parker Derby, who each shot a 2-over 74. Derby took the top prize at the tournament last year.

“I think we’re set up well for tomorrow,” Derby said of his team’s chances in the tournament. “We’re definitely within striking distance.”

Derby, who has signed to golf at the University of Georgia, said that he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his round. He felt that he had left a few shots on the course, particularly on the putting green.

He was 2-over through four holes, got back to even with a birdie on No. 10, then dropped two with a double-bogey on No. 12.

“I missed a lot of birdies on the front nine,” he said. “I missed a couple within four or five feet. It could have been better, and it could have been worse. I set myself up today, I just didn’t make the puts.”

Clark had a similar takeaway from his 74. He said he wasn’t putting particularly well and also felt like he left a couple strokes on the course.

He was 1-under par on the front nine, but double-bogeyed No. 15 and three-putted 16 for a bogey to drop to 2-over. Still, he knows he and Derby are both in the mix for the top individual score. They are just three back of White County’s Garrett Rowland, who shot 1-under 71.

“A good round puts me in the top five, and that’s a great place to be,” Clark said, adding that he liked where his team was as well. “We should definitely have a chance tomorrow.”

Clark said his team isn’t thinking about the opportunity to repeat, though, instead focusing on playing good golf on Saturday.

Columbus was led by Will Johnson, who shot a 3-over 75. Charlie Flowers, who has signed with Lamar, shot a 76 and wasn’t happy with the result. After the round, he said he wasn’t in the mood to talk about it.

Still, he, Johnson and a pair of 77s from Stanton Schorr and Patrick Edwards have the Blue Devils in position to make a run at a tournament win on Saturday.

“We’re definitely in decent position,” Johnson said. “We just need to play a little smarter tomorrow.”

Johnson dropped four strokes on Nos. 11 and 12 with a triple-bogey and a bogey, but birdied 13 and 15 to get back in good position.

Oglethorpe County and White County are also within striking distance, three back of the lead with a 308.

Northside is in ninth at 323 and Hardaway is in 15th at 357.

A number of golfers said that the greens played fast on Friday, and Johnson said he expected an even tougher day on Saturday.

Teams played the Bradley and Patton courses Friday, but will play Marshall and Patton on Saturday. Johnson said that he expects Marshall to be a challenge.

The leaders for the tournament will tee off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.

Scores

1. Etowah No. 1 (305) — Cross 73, Budd 74, Haggerty 79, Forbes 79

1. Brookstone (305) — J. Clark 74, Derby 74, Mize 79, M. Clark 78

1. Columbus (305) — Johnson 75, Flowers 76, Schorr 77, Edwards 77

4. Oglethorpe Co. (308) — Mallonee 74, Giles 76, Beatty 79, O’Byran 79

4. White Co. (308) — Rowland 71, Crumley 74, Stack 76, Adams 87

6. North Oconee (316) — Mackey 74, Brown 77, Verner 82, Saxon 83

7. Milton (320) — Kipniss 72, Ellison 77, Shapiro 84, Berg 87

8. Tift Co. (321) — Flynt 75, Gore 76, Forshee 84, Metts 86

9. Northside-Col. (323) — Shellnutt 80, Wilson 80, Nobles 81, Dupre 82

10. Etowah No. 2 (325) — Colley 79, Hammaker 80, Kirkpatrick 81, Sanders 85

10. Tuscaloosa Co. (325) — Allen 78, Hankins 80, Jones 82, Baker 85

12. Veterans (328) — Spears 79, Allen 81, Millwood 84, Hinson 84

13. Central (330) — Welsch 79, Smith 79, Beegle 81, Bishop 91

14. Valdosta (338) — Alakulppi 74, Dallas 78, Haynes 89, Wilson 97

15. Hardaway (357) — Bailey 79, Brown 86, Meadows 89, Haymond 103

16. Northside-WR (359) — DeFoor 87, Hines 87, Chastain 90, Couillard 95

16. Thomas C.C. (359) — Denton 87, Budzinsky 88, Tillman 91, Taylor 93

18. Smiths Station (360) — Williams 84, Hudson 87, Dades 93, Riney 96

19. Chilton Co. (365) — Knight 77, Watley 80, Lightsy 87, Hay 121

20. Northview (368) — Oskin 84, Kim 93, Boudonris 94, Templet 97

21. Shaw (379) — Willis 84, Davis 95, Sadler 100, Frullaney 100

22. Houston Co. (383) — Hefner 81, Speir 85, Howard 104, Alexander 113

23. Centennial (385) — Sylvester 74, Kelley 101, Golden 101, Lavinder 109

24. Metter (392) — Aldrich 92, McPaul 94, Dekle 95, Candlin 11

25. Warner Robins (401) — Kim 88, Sanders 101, Usher 104, Priser 108

Ineligible: North Atlanta (254) — Hume 80, Walstrum 83, Perkins 91

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service