The Dawson County boys golf team competed at the Class AAA Area 3 Tournament at Apple Mountain Golf Club on Monday, April 25, shooting a season low score of 299 to earn a spot at the AAA State Championships.
Alex Hughes led the way with a score of 1-under 71 as the Tigers finished third at the area tournament behind Westminster and Cherokee Bluff, with the latter finishing just two strokes ahead of DCHS.
“Our guys battled like crazy,” head coach Will Anglin said. “Many of them started their rounds poorly and they continued to grind it out. I was most impressed with their determination.”
That determination was needed on a day that had the Tigers play against a combination of teams from Regions 5 and 7, including rivals North Hall.
Hughes played by that example, beginning his day with three consecutive bogeys before playing the remainder of the course at 4-under par.
Another resilient display was shown by Christian Roper, who had some early struggles before finding a groove on the back nine. He played the final four holes with a birdie-par-birdie-eagle finish to end his day with a score of 1-over 73.
As the day progressed and the temperature increased, the Tigers got hotter and outplayed many opponents, including the North Hall team that had played in two close regular-season tournaments against DCHS.
With Jeremy Ray and Will McNatt rounding out the scoring at 76 and 79, respectively, the Tigers finished with all four players shooting under 80 and breaking an aggregate of 300 for the first time this season.
“This was one of the clutchest performances I have ever seen as a coach,” Anglin said. “It’s [one] thing to have other teams struggle and give you a spot in the state tournament, but in our case everyone played great.”
The girls golf team also competed at the Area 3 Tournament, with Samantha Dewendt scoring an 83 to finish in fifth place individually. With the girls team playing during the hottest part of the day, they struggled early and were not able to qualify for the State Championships.
Despite this, Anglin and girls coach Tyler Baker will have all players returning next season, including the rising junior Dewendt.
The boys team will be looking to replicate last season’s success at the state level, where they finished third. Anglin mentioned that his team's performance at the Area Tournament showed that they would not be denied in spite of the early adversity.
Next up for the team will be a trip to Augusta on May 17 and 18, where they will play at Bartram Trail Golf Club. Anglin will be making sure the team is prepared for the challenge.
“Our biggest challenge will be finding where we need to miss and how to approach each hole,” Anglin said. “We expect the Augusta greens to be very fast with a lot of hills. I’m sure the course will be in great condition and it will be a great opportunity for our guys to compete against the best in the state.”