High School Sports

Columbus finishes 3rd at 40th annual Larry Gaither Hardaway Invitational

The Columbus High golf team put itself in a position to contend for a third straight title at the Larry Gaither Hardaway Invitational with a total score of 296 in Friday’s first round. On Saturday, it shot 308 at Bull Creek Golf Course, keeping itself among the top performers, but falling just short of another win.

The Blue Devils finished in third, 11 strokes behind first-place Etowah and five behind second-place Marist.

Etowah was led by an impressive two-day performance by tournament medalist Nick Budd, who shot 66 and 69 for a total of 135. His finish tied for the second-best finish in the tournament’s 40-year history, two strokes behind Savannah Christian Prep’s Brian Harmon’s total in 2005.

“It was great to finish my senior year in this tournament like this,” Budd said after the tournament. “I knew the record was 133 and I was kind of chasing it down the stretch. I was 4-under for the day through 11 and knew I had a chance to catch it. I made some good swings and putts, they just didn’t fall. Just how golf goes sometimes.”

Budd birdied four holes, falling just short of a 134 with a bogey on 18, which would have given him the second-best score outright. Teammates Jake Haggerty and Caleb Jensen helped Etowah’s cause with mid-70s scores in both rounds.

Last year, Columbus built up a 12-stroke lead on day one and cruised to an easy tournament win. This year, it was four back after day one but couldn’t make a move on Saturday’s second round.

Still, it had a strong performance from Nolan Miller, who made the all-tournament team for the second straight year. Over the course of two days, he shot a 73 and 74 for a 3-over 147.

“It means I’m consistent,” he said of his performances over the two days. “My game is in a state where if I play bad, I can still contend, so that’s a good thing. The pin locations were accessible today for the most part. The course played pretty easy, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t hit good shots.”

Among the other local teams, Northside had the strongest second round, rising to ninth place overall. Zac Shellnutt shot a 73 on Saturday, finishing the tournament at 3-over 147 and joining Miller on the all-tournament team.

The rest of the all-tournament team was comprised of Andrew Lafferty (Marist), Preston Jones (Tuscaloosa County), K.J. Smith (Riverwood), Braden Jones (Marist), Kevin Burns (Woodstock) and Budd.

Burns finished in second at 140 for the tournament, and Braden Jones finished in third.

Brookstone finished in 11th, Harris County in 16th, Smiths Station in 17th and Central in 21s.

Miller said Columbus was obviously disappointed it wasn’t able to continue its streak of tournament titles, but that they had played well enough to give themselves a chance.

“I thought we did pretty good,” he said. “We’re disappointed, but we were only four back coming in. We had a chance, we just didn’t get it done. There’s always next year.”

2015 Hardaway Invitational

East Course, Bull Creek Golf Course

Par 72

1. Etowah (292-301-593)—N. Budd, 66-69-135; J. Haggerty, 78-74-152; C. Jensen, 71-77-148; G. Sanders, 82-81-163; G. Emery, 77-83-160.

2. Marist (292-307-599)—A. Lafferty, 73-75-148; B. Jones, 69-74-143; J. Warren, 68-80-148; J. Secret, 88-81-169; B. Sikes, 82-78-160.

3. Columbus (296-308-604)—B. Carr, 76-77-153; N. Miller, 73-74-147; S. Schorr, 76-79-155; B. Womack, 80-83-163; D. Davis, 71-78-149.

4. Woodstock (309-308-617)—K. Burns, 69-71-140; J. Burnett, 80-74-154; A. Burgess, 77-76-153; M. Bashaw, 83-87-170; B. Hunt, 87-88-175.

5. North Oconee (305-318-623)—A. Patel, 74-79-153; C. Dunlap, 75-86-161; W. Foust, 77-89-166; G. Britt, 87-78-165; C. Murphey, 79-75-154.

6.Woodward Academy (304-320-624)—G. Stradtman, 74-82-156; J. Lawson, 80-75-155; M. Kahlert, 74-78-152; C. Asarch, 85-85-170; J. Hewes, 76-86-162.

6. Tift County (307-317-624)—C. Collins, 77-77-154; G. Metts, 74-77-151; S. Tucker, 77-86-163; Z. Forshee, 79-77-156; C. Cottle, 84-87-171.

6. Trinity (311-313-624)—P. Williams, 80-76-156; G. Slater, 78-74-152; W. Ashmore, 76-79-155; W. Draper, 77-x-x; P. Williams, 81-84-165.

9. Northside (316-312-628)—Z. Shellnutt, 74-73-147; J. Coffield, 81-78-159; D. Whittle, 87-82-169; D. Quinn, 77-79-156; K. Hodge, 84-88-172.

9. Holy Innocents’ (311-317-628)—S. Asbury, 77-76-153; J. Klopfenstein, 73-79-152; I. Thomas, 76-83-159; W. Cantrell, 89-79-168; M. Gates, 85-92-177.

11. Brookstone (312-326-638)—W. Hinds, 82-74-156; W. Reaves, 79-82-161; W. Gallitin, 82-88-170; E. Copeland, 73-88-161; L. Mullin, 78-82-160.

12. Tuscaloosa County (320-324-644)—P. Jones, 73-75-148; C. Holt, 74-84-158; D. Cameron, 84-87-171; N. Brown, 89-84-173; L. Wright x-81-x.

13. Newnan (312-333-645)—M. Matistic, 74-80-154; A. Sweatman, 73-78-151; T. Cook, 82-83-165; J. Ballard, 83-92-175.

14. Northwest Whitfield (333-314-647)—E. Hayes, 81-76-157; T. Higgins, 79-78-157; A. Canady, 88-77-165; C. Lomax, 85-83-168; E. McBrayer, 89-102-191.

15. Auburn (323-335-658)—W. Solomon, 81-85-166; G. Hall, 87-84-171; C. Hendley, 84-90-174; A. Norris, 79-85-164; J. McAlindon, 79-81-160.

16. Harris County (341-331-672)—K. Partridge, 85-79-164; A. Adams, 86-79-165; C. Wilkerson, 90-91-181; A. Hubbard, 90-90-180; L. Hardwick, 80-83-163.

17. Smiths Station (324-349-673)—T. Williams, 83-84-167; K. Hudson, 79-85-164; R. Dades, 84-85-169; J. McAdory, 78-95-173; S. Windsor, 100-95-195.

18. Riverwood (337-338-675)—K. Smith, 74-73-147; W. White, 82-83-165; Z. Sumlin, 85-80-165; A. Robert, 96-102-198.

19. Vidalia No. 1 (339-344-683)—C. Edwards, 76-78-154; T. McClellan, 90-81-171; B. Bellflower, 76-86-162; D. Chesser, 98-99-197; M. Lockley, 97-101-198.

20. White County (349-356-705)—G. Rowland, 74-74-148; B. Turner, 88-89-177; D. Moody, 82-89-171; B. Long, 107-104-211; C. Westmoreland, 105-111-216.

21. Central (374-375-749)—T. Bishop, 86-90-176; N. Parnell, 88-80-168; C. Renfroe, 100-95-195; H. Sanders, 100-110-210; D. Emmerson, 104-x-x.

22. Vidalia No. 2 (388-397-785)—B. Spivey, 99-105-204; H. Garvin, 94-85-179; B. Gourley, 95-103-198; B. Collins, 108-107-215; D. Plummer, 100-104-204.

23. Centennial (407-403-810)—J. Kurey, 84-82-166; B. Tailhaber, 94-102-196; G. Krick, 115-108-223; A. Reddy-Kother, 114-111-125.