The Columbus boys golf team had the task of replacing four seniors from last year’s state title team, three of which are now playing college golf. On Tuesday, the Blue Devils proved once and for all they were up for the challenge.
Columbus captured its third consecutive state championship Tuesday at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega when the second round of the Class 4A tournament was canceled due to weather. The final results reverted back to Monday’s first round, which saw the Blue Devils shoot a 10-under-278 and top second-place St. Pius X by two strokes.
Columbus’ 278 tied the program’s lowest round ever and was one head coach Chris Parker believed set a new Georgia state tournament record. Columbus’ title is the Blue Devils second straight in Class 4A and their fifth under Parker’s guidance.
“It was exciting because we lost three seniors from last year who are all playing college golf. We had to replace a lot,” Parker said. “This team really improved a lot, and over the last month or two they’ve played as well as any team we’ve ever had.”
Columbus’ top two players showed once again they’re among the top golfers in the entire state.
Ben Carr ended his senior season with a bang, shooting 67 in the first round to earn the tournament’s low medalist honors. Carr was followed close behind junior Jonathan Parker, who finished tied for second at 68. It was a nearly identical situation to the 2017 state tournament, when Jonathan Parker earned low medalist at 68 and Carr followed at 69.
Along with Carr and Jonathan Parker, junior John Calhoun shot 70 and freshman Sackett Carr shot a 73.
Carr and Jonathan Parker broke the Columbus record for average round score, with Jonathan shooting 71.6 on the season and Carr setting the new benchmark at 69.7.
“It means a lot, just to finish it off in fashion,” Carr said. “I had my little brother on the team this year, and it couldn’t have been more awesome. He shot his year-best round yesterday. Being able to have our fourth-counting score be a 73 and to have it be my little brother was awesome. Winning state as an individual and as a team was just an awesome way to finish things off.”
Jonathan Parker credited the fact Columbus played a tournament at Achasta earlier in the season as a huge advantage when the state title was on the line. Carr added that the previous experience at the course got the entire team’s confidence up.
“We knew if we just played solid golf and limited our mistakes, there was a good chance we were going to run away with it yet again,” Carr said.
Tuesday’s victory sent Carr and fellow senior Rudy Pearson out as champions for the third and final time. For Jonathan Parker and fellow junior John Calhoun, the team’s latest title is just more motivation to go out and win one more come 2019.
“I’m pretty excited that we got to do three in a row,” Jonathan Parker said. “I know me and John are real excited to try and make it four in a row next year.”