Terry marches to 4A title

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Overcoming the leaders Tuesday, Terry’s Bulldogs marched to theClass 4A State Golf Tournament championship at the wind-sweptBrookhaven Country Club. The Bulldogs posted a team score of 624 tobeat runner-up Alcorn Central (631) by seven strokes.

Randy Buck, the only senior on Terry’s team, had seen theBulldogs finish third last year to state champion West Jones andrunner-up Picayune. He was happy to see his prep career end on avictorious note.

“It feels great to win state,” said Buck. “I’m glad that ouryounger players pulled us through.”

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Four strokes behind Picayune and West Jones after Monday’sopening round, the Bulldogs produced a solid team effort to takehome the trophy. They were led by junior Chase Sherman’s 4-over par74, improving by 6 strokes over Monday’s 80. Buck shot 75, DrewDulaney and Allen McKenzie both shot 79s and Marcus Ginn shot85.

Terry golf coach Bill French said he was surprised but delightedwith the triumph. “It was unexpected. We only had one person(Dulaney at 75) in the 70s after the first round. Last year we werenumber three.”

Picayune and West Jones, tied at 313 after the opening round,were unable to overcome the tough pin placements on Tuesday. WestJones finished at 635 and Picayune posted a 637.

West Jones did claim the match medalist in senior Brandon Payne.He shot a 2-under 68 after shooting 76 on Monday. Amanda Mathis ofPicayune (70-77–147) and Nick Beall of Pass Christian (71-76–147)tied for second. Mathis won a 1-hole playoff when Beall 3-putted onthe par-4 10th hole.

“I didn’t worry about what I was shooting today, I just playedgolf,” said Payne. He has signed a scholarship with MississippiGulf Coast Community College.

“I only missed four greens and I hit my driver well,” saidPayne. He was using a Callaway Big Bertha II. On the 18th hole,bolstered by a strong tail wind, he launched his mammoth drive 352yards and birdied the hole.

“The course was set up three times harder than yesterday,” Paynepointed out. He finished his round with pars on No.s 16 and 17 anda 20-foot birdie from the fringe on 18.

The most dramatic hole for Payne was the demanding, 502-yard,par-5, 14th hole. His fairway shot, a 3-wood over the lake, flewthe green by 30 yards. In ankle-deep rough, he pitched back. Hisball bounced off one of the berms surrounding the green and rolledwithin 15 feet of the cup.

Brookhaven finished at 656, improving by 6 strokes over Monday’sround. The Panthers were led by Cody Jordan who shot 76, betteringMonday’s round by 12 strokes.

“I hit a lot of hooks on my drives yesterday,” said Jordan, ajunior. “I was pulling the ball and the wind was bad.

“I was focused today,” Jordan continued. “I was thinking throughevery shot. I hit 15 greens today and had some 2-putts.” He wasusing a Scotty Cameron Futura putter.

Jordan had a 2-round total of 88-76–164. Phillip Hammond ledthe team with an 80-82–162. Brandt Hinton shot 79-84–163, AustinMills 83-85–168 and Shane Price 87-84–171.

“I was pleased with our guys,” said BHS golf coach Ryan Ross. “Iwanted them to finish at least in the middle of the field. Cody washooking the ball Monday but he went to the (practice) range, workedit out and finished well.”

Ross said the tournament was a big success. “The course wasbeautiful. Everybody said it was the smoothest run tournament,ever.”