It is said that you can’t win a golf tournament on day one, but you can sure lose it on day one.
For Fort Mill going into the final round of the 5A state golf tournament Tuesday, they certainly hadn’t lost the tournament and were within striking distance of leader Boiling Springs at the Country Club of South Carolina in Florence. And while they played better on day two, so did Boiling Springs.
The Boiling Springs Bulldogs won the 5A state title with a 583 (293-290) with Fort Mill finishing second 15 shots back shooting 598 (301-297). Despite the score on paper, Fort Mill head coach Judd Dye said things were a lot closer than it looked.
“Halfway through the back nine they were scrambling,” Dye said. “We started putting heat on them. It wasn’t as big of a victory as it looks on paper.”
The Jackets shot a 301 on day one of the tournament Monday and were just eight shots back of Boiling Springs, which shot a 293.
“We went into yesterday (Monday) and wanted to be leading or within 10 shots,” Dye said. “We were eight shots back.”
Fort Mill dropped four strokes as a team on day two of the tournament Tuesday with a 297. However, Boiling Springs dropped three strokes as well with a 290 on Tuesday.
In the final round, Fort Mill was led by Bryce Wittmer with a one-over par 73 (37-36). He tied for fifth overall with a two-day total of 143. He was followed by a two-over par 74 (38-36) from Griffin Tarver, who was tied for 13th overall with a two-day total of 148. Cam Baker shot a two-over par 74 (38-36) as well on day two and was tied for 33rd overall with a two-day total of 153. Keegan Brown shot a 76 (39-37) in the final round and was tied for 39th overall in the tournament with a total of 155.
On day one of the tournament, Wittmer shot a two-under par 70 (34-36) to lead Fort Mill. He was followed by a two-over par 74 (36-38) from Tarver. Erik Zeppelin shot a 78 (39-39) and both Brown and Baker shot a 79 in the opening round.
Dorman finished third overall just two shots behind Fort Mill with a two-day team score of 600. The Jackets are graduating four players this year, but Dye feels like the future is bright.
“We totally expect to not only get back here, but to compete,” he said.
Nation Ford had one individual representative in the 5A tournament in Gabe Schmitz, who shot a 151 over two days. He shot a two-over par 74 (35-39) on day one and a day two total of 77 (39-38). He was tied for 21st overall.
In the 4A state golf tournament at Dolphin Head Golf Club on Hilton Head Island, Catawba Ridge was sixth after day one, but struggled on day two as their number two golfer OT Mitchell suffered a wrist injury. The Copperheads dropped in the standings to finish ninth in the state with a two-day total of 683 (327-356). AC Flora won the 4A state title with a 603 (294-309).
“We had some bumps in the road,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Mickey Joslin.
Catawba Ridge shot a 327 on day one Monday and was led by Nolan Will’s 77 (39-38). Mitchell shot a 79 (38-41) on the first day and was followed by an 83 (41-42) from Hunter Warren. Parrish Fox finished the Copperheads round with an 88 (45-43).
On day two Tuesday, the Copperheads shot a 356 as a team, 29 strokes higher. Will led Catawba Ridge again with an 81 (40-41) and finished with a 158 overall good enough for 22nd. He was followed by an 88 (40-48) from Warren, who finished with a 171 overall and a 49th place finish. Fox shot a 91 (45-46) in the final round for a 179 two-day total and a 63rd place finish. Emerson Hill finished the scoring for Catawba Ridge with a 96 (52-44).
Catawba Ridge is losing one player in their No. 1 golfer in Will due to graduation. Joslin said losing Will hurts, but feels like they can continue to get better over the next several years.
“It’s a big one,” Joslin said. “The future looks bright. We have a couple young guys that look promising.”
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep