Fort Payne Golf Coach Zane Haymon has been preparing his team for the Huntsville Invitational Tournament for some time.
“I thought we would come out of this tournament with some idea about how competitive we would be in the upcoming playoffs,” Haymon said. “I found out that we can play with the best teams in the state but as I have been saying all year we just need to get everyone playing on a high, consistent level. We are still putting up big numbers on one or two holes that just ruin a good round. Our young players need to realize that bogie is not a bad score. Today we turned several bogies into 7’s, 8’s and even one 10. We’re getting better but we need to keep working.”
The Wildcats shot a 317, which was third out of the 15 boys teams competing. Grissom finished with a 312 for second place and sectional rival Muscle Sholes fired a sizzling 290.
“We know somewhere down the road we have got to beat Muscle Sholes,” Haymon said. “They put on a show today as all five of their players were in the 70’s. We don’t need to do that well but each of our players need to work on lowering their score.”
One player who doesn’t need much improvement is senior Cole Skaggs. Skaggs fired a 69 and was the low medalist in the tournament.
“That’s the best I have played all year,” Skaggs said. “ I left a couple strokes out there but, overall, I was pleased.”
Seventh grader Harrison Davis also played well. He put together a round of 81, which included 31 putts.
“I’ve really been working on my putting and today was the best so far,” Davis said. “I just need to keep it up”
Another seventh grader Dawson Garrett shot 82, which included a seven on a par 4. Sam Evans got in trouble on a par 5 and finished with an 85. Alex Mitchell shot an 89.
The Fort Payne girls also travelled to Huntsville and came away with an eighth place finish out of 19 teams with an overall score of 284.
Elle Kate Patterson had the lowest score of the day for Fort Payne with a round of 80, which gave her an overall tenth place finish for the tournament.
Alexis Chambers finished the day with a round of 96, Ashley Barkley shot a 108 and Avery Smith shot a 117.
Head coach Jamie McClung was proud of his teams efforts and said it was a great warmup for sub-state competition, which will be in Huntsville also.
“I thought we competed well,” McClung said. “We had chances to score lower and we didn’t take advantage of some easy shots. We had a chance to finish in the top-5. Ell Kate was one-over after the first nine and then struggled some on the last nine. There was a lot of good teams there and a big tournament for us.”
Both the girls and boys teams will be traveling to Scottsboro Friday for the Scottsboro Invitational.
“We’ll be seeing Hartselle, another one of our main competitors Friday,” Haymon said. “It’s important that we continue to improve.”
The boy’s sectional tournament is April 27 in Fort Payne and the girls will be in Scottsboro.