Rabren captures 2nd state title
MOBILE-Brooks Rabren capped off his high school career in dramatic fashion by capturing the 2015 AHSAA class 4A individual state championship with a final round of 67 and an overall score of 133.
He drained a 70-foot birdie to secure the top spot on Tuesday at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile.
“It was pretty awesome hitting that birdie from 70 feet for my final shoot as a high school player,” Rabren said. “When it went in I had a pretty good feeling that I would win it all.”
After hitting the ball well all day on Monday, Rabren found himself entering the final round with a strong three-shot lead. Rabren finished the tournament without a single bogey.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a tournament without having a bogey,” Rabren said. “That is pretty good on any course, but it is awesome doing it on a course that will be my home course in college.”
Rabren signed earlier in the year to play golf at South Alabama.
Rabren started off on fire Tuesday by birding three of the first four holes.
“He played better today then he did yesterday,” said his coach Mike Kelley. “Yesterday, everything he hit was just perfect, and right down the middle. Today, he had to hit out of some tough spots. He really had to play golf today.”
There were several times during the day that Rabren made good shots to keep the pressure on the competition. There was no bigger shot than the birdie putt on 18 to finish the tournament.
Coming into the par-5 18, Rabren was sitting at 3-under-par after 13 straight pars going back to hole 5.
His tee shot on 18 landed in the bunker that lurks in the middle of the fairway, and put him in tough spot for his second shot.
His second shot went way right, and it appeared that his bogey-free streak could possibly come to an end. Rabren wasn’t giving up on it, though.
The third shot went long, but landed on the backside of the green, roughly 70 feet from the hole.
After giving the putt a few looks, Rabren let loose a putt that started tracking the hole as soon as it left the putter face.
With one fist pumped in the air, Rabren watched as the 70-footer dropped in for birdie, all but guaranteeing his spot alone at the top of the leader board.
“It was just really awesome to win,” Rabren said. “That shot on 18, and my bunker shot on 7 were my biggest shots today. On 7, I chipped out of a greenside bunker, and really didn’t have much green to work with. I got it about a foot from the hole to save par. That was probably the best bunker shot I have ever hit. After hitting that shot, I knew I wasn’t going to bogey the rest of the day. It was a great confidence builder.”
After all the scores were final, it was official Rabren had won his second state title in three seasons.
Finishing second was St. James’ Walker Carr, who finished seven strokes behind Rabren.
Although not recognized, Rabren finished as the top scorer 1A-7A both days.
Rabren’s round of 66 on Monday broke the AHSAA 4A record for low score at the state tournament that had stood for more than 50 years. His score on Tuesday of 67 tied the old record.