by Jed Blackwell, Associate Editor-Publisher, The Golf Club
Boiling Springs maintained its grip on the 5A state golf championship on Tuesday afternoon at Charleston Municipal Golf Club.
It wasn’t easy.
Leaders after the first round, the Bulldogs gutted out a tough course and tough competition, beating Chapin by a single stroke, 616-617 to take a second straight state title.
“I knew these guys could do it,” Boiling Springs coach Josh Pruitt said. “But I knew this was going to be the toughest year to do it, too. This course is hard. To be able to pull this one out was amazing. That’s six now in like 10 years. That’s crazy.”
Pruitt was one year off. The Bulldogs have now won six of the last eight big-school titles contested on the course, three in 4A and three in 5A. They were second in one of the others.
With one stroke making the difference, the margin could’ve come down to any hole.
Boiling Springs’ two All-State players made the difference.
Clayton Taylor birdied the 18th hole to finish off a 75 and a two-day total of 146, good for third place overall.
The Bulldogs’ No. 1 player, Andrew Gregory, carded back-to-back 77s for a two-day 154 total, tied for 10th overall. However, his birdie on 17 proved to be the clincher for Boiling Springs.
The finishing hole, a par 4 with a huge mound and sand trap occupying ideal driver distance, played as a 4-iron, 7-iron, and 9-foot putt for Taylor.
“It was exciting, honestly,” Taylor said. “It just goes to show you how important every shot is.”
Gregory’s birdie on 17 came thanks to a huge drive that found the left-center of the fairway, a low approach to less than 15 feet, and a good putt. Gregory said he was glad to take advantage of the opportunity.
“I got a little happy on that one. I missed so many putts today. When that one went in, it was great,” he said.
Boiling Springs had a chance at a little breathing room at the 18th when Chapin’s par try slid past the hole. But Gregory, who burned the edge with a 50-footer on his first putt, missed the come-backer, nearly identical to the Chapin try.
“It was pretty much the exact same putt. I guess I should’ve paid more attention.” Gregory said with a laugh.
Still, the Bulldogs did just enough to polish off another title.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Pruitt said. “A lot of these boys I’ve had since seventh grade. I taught Andrew. To see them do it was amazing,” added the Bulldogs coach.
Walker Greene shot a 177, Walker Ingram fired a 179, and Owen Jackson added a 185 for the Bulldogs.
Wando was third in the tournament, paced by Medalist Tucker Simon’s 142. Simon tied with West Ashley’s Ryan Bozard, winning a one-hole playoff.
Mauldin, Spartanburg, Fort Mill, Conway, Dorman, and River Bluff rounded out the top nine spots, with West Ashley and Riverside tied for 10th.
The All-State AAAAA team included Chapin’s Simon, West Ashley’s Bozard as well as Mauldin’s Major Lenning and Jay Wilkins plus the Bulldogs Taylor and Gregory on the All-State team.
Final AAAAA Scores from Charleston Municipal Golf Course https://birdiefire.com/tournament/110590/