High School Sports

Three local teams look to end Hardaway Larry Gaither Invitational drought; Brookstone's Parker Derby leads race for medalist

It has been 20 years since a local high school golf team has won the Hardaway Larry Gaither Invitational.

Heading into today's final round of the 37th annual edition of the tournament, there are three local teams in the top 5, all within six shots of Etowah's No. 1 team, the leader at 302. Brookstone's No. 1 team is third, two shots back at 304, while Columbus is next at 307 and Northside is at 308.

Veterans is second at 303.

"We played pretty solid for the most part," Brookstone coach Todd Stanfill said. "We are in a good position, and we'll be playing with the top two teams."

The tournament is being played at Fort Benning's Follow Me Golf Course. The teams played the Bradley Nine as the front in Friday's round with the Patton Nine as the back. The Marshall and Patton nines will be used for today's final round.

Brookstone's Parker Derby, who already has two wins this season, leads on the individual scoreboard after shooting a 1-under 71. He was the only player under par of the 124 in the field.

"I hit it well," Derby said. "But I missed a lot of putts."

Derby made a birdie on Nos. 1, 10 and 17 with his bogeys coming in 7 and 12. He also made a pair of par saves -- from 30 yards on 11 and 40 yards on 18 -- that kept him in the lead.

"He's quite a player," Stanfill said. "He'll tell you he stumbled a little bit and could have gone lower, but we'll take 71 from him every day."

Derby leads a quartet of golfers by two shots -- Etowah's Nick Budd, Veterans' Colburn Spears, North Oconee's David Mackey and Chilton's Ivan Truss.

There is a quintet of golfers at 74, including Columbus' Charlie Flowers and Central's Jeremy Head.

Northside's Bryant Matthews is in a tie for 11th at 75.

The Cougars, who have won five times this season, will tee off at 1:30 p.m. for today's final round along with the other 15 teams with the best first-round scores. The 16 teams with the highest scores will tee off this morning at 8 a.m.

Columbus coach Chris Parker lamented the dreaded double- and triple-bogeys that found their way onto the scorecards.

"We played pretty good," he said. "If we could stay away big numbers -- we had three doubles, two triples -- just turn those into bogeys, we could cut another seven shots.

"I think there are 5-6 teams within shouting distance. You just have to play real well tomorrow. Win or lose, I want to see us continue to play well and eliminate the mistakes."

Notes: Last year's champion Richmond Academy is not playing this year due to conflicts with the school's prom. In fact, none of the champions from the past 19 years is in the field. Hardaway (1992, 1989, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976), Vidalia (1986) and Brookstone (1985) are the only past champions in the 31-team field. Columbus High's Jimmy Beck is the last local medalist. He won the individual title in 2010.



Fort Benning's Follow Me Golf Course

Bradley-Patton Course

Par 72

Top 10 individuals

Parker Derby, Brookstone 71

Nick Budd, Etowah #1, 73

Colburn Spears, Veterans 73

David Mackey, North Oconee #1 73

Ivan Truss, Chilton, 73

Charlie Flowers, Columbus, 74

Jeremy Head, Central, 74

Nick Kishigans, Warner Robins, 74

Joseph Jarrard, Lumkin County, 74

Eli Crumley, White County, 74

Team scores

Etowah #1 (302) -- Nick Budd 73, Adam Cross 75, Jack Forbes 76, Trenton Sanders 78

Veterans (303) -- Colburn Spears 73, Tyler Woodyard 75, Griffin Joyner 75, Austin Millwood 80

Brookstone #1 (304) -- Parker Derby 71, James Clark 76, Mercer Clark (76), David James 81

Columbus (307)--Charlie Flowers 74, Will Johnson 74, Stanton Schorr 81, Cody Benn 78

Northside (308)--Bryant Matthews 75, Eric Graddy 77, Kyle Wilson 77, Trent Nobles 79

North Oconee #1 (312)--David Mackey 73, Connor Brown 77, Davis Verner 80, Charlie Haack 82

Chilton (316) -- Ivan Truss 73, Blake Jenkins 75, Forrest Knight 80, Jordan Lightsey 88

Central (320)--Jeremy Head 74, Drew Welsch 75, Greg Ward 83, Zach Smith 88

Montgomery Catholic (321)--Jacob Stinson 78, Jason Katz 80, Chapman Barranco 81, Zach Jones 82

Tift County (322)-- Robert Doolan 79, Ty Gore 80, Trey Dollar 81, Beau Hightower 82

White County (322)--Eli Crumley 74, Garrett Rowland 77, Austin Brown 82, Brynnan Adams 89

First Presbyterian Day (325)-- Brooks Stroud76, Conner Albright 77, Dalton Taylor 83, Brantley Wilson 89

Woodward Academy (325)--Andre Leveque 76, Bob Echols 79, Jake Lawson 80, John Comer 90

North Oconee #2 (328)--Bobby Sligh 80, Tyler Williams 82, Akshay Patel 82, Mason Saxon 84

Montgomery Academy (331)--William Sellers 75, Brock Trulove 81, Wells Hooper 82, Garrett Laurie 91

Brookstone #2 (333)--Jack Mize 81, Carl Van Rensberg 81, Sam Hatcher 84, Peyton Good 88

Jack Mize

Trinity (340)--Lee Madison 81, Wagner Ashmore 86, Clay Waters 86, David Logan 87

Smiths Station (341)--Rhett Fuller 79, Bradley Eagle 80, Trent Parnell 86, Russell Dades 96

Etowah #2 (341)--Jason Hammaker 84, Troy Kumpand 85, Jake Haggerty 86, Cole Kirkpatrick 86

Northview (341)--Sammy Hong 76, Andrew Kim 82, Justin Jones 90, Zach Galbred 93

Calvary Day (344)--Matt Mell 77, Ryan Su 81, Chris Martin 91, Chandler Bennett 95

Whitewater (350)--Patrick Sandwich 83, Andrew Bradburry 86, Brett Roberts 90, Cody Stapleton 91 Savannah Country Day (352)-- Chase Wehrle 77, Mitch Davis 86, Kameron Sallee 88, Cord Helmken 101

Northside-WR (357)-- Bobby Hines 75, Jake Christian 82, Seth Defoor 98, Payton Couillard 102

Early County (363)--Rhodes Collier 80, Cole Howard 87, Seth Taylor 89, Denver McLain 107

Vidalia (369)--Tyler Gordon 91, Chase Edwards 92, Avery Washinger 92, Miles Lockley 94

Lumpkin County (369)-- Joseph Jarrard 74, Austin Booker 80, Hunter Gettys 107, Chase Smith 108

Houston County (371)-- Haydn Hefner 85, Ross Dempsey 91, Adam Silcox 95, Josh Langer 100

Hardaway (382)--Bryce Bailey 82, Jackson Brown 88, Mason Meadows 96, Alex Haymond 116

Warner Robins (392)--Nick Kishibians 74, Landon Brait 85, Bryson Saunders 104, Moe Mohammed 129 Metter (405)--Brady Cliett 81, Devin Dekle 95, Lane Aldrich 103, William Edwards 126