The Columbus boys golf team finished second in the Georgia-South Carolina Challenge Cup at River Falls Plantation in Duncan, S.C. on Saturday.
Jonathan Parker’s 146 over the two-day tournament earned him the honor of individual champion, narrowly beating out teammates Ben Carr and Nolan Miller, who each shot 147 to tie for second overall.
Carr’s 69 after the first day put the junior in the driver’s seat for the Blue Devils, but it was Parker who finished strong. He started Saturday two strokes behind Carr and subsequently shot a 75, three strokes better than Carr’s second-day 78.
Parker, Carr and Miller were three of the six Blue Devils who competed in the challenge. They were joined by teammates Ben Womack, Rudy Pearson and Daniel Davis. The Blue Devils shot 291 on Friday before recording a score of 311 on Saturday.
Columbus’ team score of 602 was five strokes higher than tournament champion Mill Creek.
“Overall, it was a pretty good start to the season,” Columbus head coach Chris Parker said. “We’re a little disappointed with how we played on Saturday. I didn’t expect our team to play as poorly as we did, but it’s early in the year and we’ve got a long ways to go.”
The 41st edition of the tournament pitted nine teams from Georgia against nine teams from South Carolina. Georgia ultimately defeated South Carolina 1,771-1,814. The victory for Georgia gives the state a 25-13-2 record all-time against South Carolina in the tournament.
Parker said the chance to play in the tournament could prove to be a useful measuring stick for the team going forward.
“We don’t know for sure, but we expect that to be as tough of a field as we play all year,” Parker said. “I think four or five state champions from Georgia were in this field, and a few from South Carolina were in this field. It’s set up to be a very elite event.”
Columbus was not the only Muscogee County team to make the trip to South Carolina.
Brookstone’s boys also competed in the tournament and ultimately finished ninth of the 18 teams. Walker Hinds led the way for the Cougars, shooting 76 on the first day and following that up with a 73 on the second day. Hinds played alongside Brookstone teammates Charles Waldrep, Evans Copeland, Frank Waldrep and William Reaves.
The Blue Devils’ next tournament will be the Packer Invitational in Moultrie on Saturday. Brookstone, meanwhile, plays in the Atlanta Athletic Club Boys Invitational in Johns Creek on March 27.