Warriors breeze to AISA golf title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2006

With a 21-stroke lead going in to the second day of play at the Alabama Independent Schools Association state golf tournament at Cambrian Ridge, Lee-Scott Academy could have folded under the pressure, but instead came out and matched their first day score of 300 to take the championship by 22 strokes over Pike Liberal Arts.

&#8220Lee Scott has a strong team,” said Cambrian Ridge Director of Golf Bryan Reynolds. &#8220I was talking to their coaches, Ricky Smallridge and Darin Garner and these kids play competitive golf all year. While other kids are playing in basketball tournaments these kids are looking for golf tournaments to play in. I watched a few of them play the last few days and was very impressed.”

Fort Dale Academy, who was tied with Sparta Academy after the first day of play, struggled on day two but held on to sixth finishing with a combined score of 704.

&#8220I thought we'd do a little bit better on day two,” said Eagles' golf coach Reggie Mantooth. &#8220Ben Bates played better on day two and shot an 81, but Will (Farrar) really struggled and that hurt our overall team score.”

After firing an 80 the first day, Farrar shot an 89 to finish in tie for 16th with Bates and two others.

The second day of the tournament was delayed for two hours due to heavy fog, but Reynolds said the course obviously got the best of some of the players.

&#8220The first day was real windy with 10 to 15 mile per hour gusts and with our course having elevated greens it probably made a one to two club difference on some of our holes.

&#8220Where you might have been hitting a seven iron into some of the greens they were hitting a five with the wind.”

Reynolds said he thinks the wind wasn't the only factor in how some played.

&#8220Two days of walking Sherling and Loblolly is pretty tough especially with our elevation changes,” he said. &#8220It's probably a good four-mile walk carrying a 30-to-40 pound bag of golf clubs. Not only do you need to be on top of your game mentally, but physically as well.”

Mantooth is optimistic about next year, especially with what he considers to be a good crop of young golfers coming up.

&#8220I think we can really have a good team next year even though we're losing Will and Lister (Crosby),” he said. &#8220The others will continue to improve and we've got some younger kids coming up that will help us out.”