Boiling Springs golf coach Josh Pruitt didn’t ask for much for his birthday on Monday.
He just wanted a win at the Rebel Invitational.
His defending 5A state champion Bulldogs delivered, shooting a team score of 302, finishing five shots ahead of Greenville and Fort Mill, who tied for second at 307.
Mauldin was fourth with a 308, and Gaffney tied for fifth with Easley, both shooting 317.
Andrew Gregory shot a 69 to finish second individually. He said winning the event was a big step for the team.
“We didn’t have our best tournament last week, so it’s good to get out here and get a little bit of confidence,” he said. “It shows we can still do it, and we have a good team. We’re here to compete.”
Clayton Taylor shot 74 for the Bulldogs, with Walker Ingram adding a 75 and Owen Rodier carding an 84.
Pruitt said the scores down the lineup were just as big as Gregory’s.
“We lost a guy last year, and we’re struggling to replace him, and still being able to get it done means a lot,” Pruitt said. “Our JV squad worked really hard last year, and we had a lot of really good players who had to settle for playing JV because we were so good. Their hard work has paid off. I think those back-end guys are really what wins championships. You need those one and two at the top to do their job and play well, but we have that. We’ve had that for years. Coaches talk all the time about the struggle to find that 3 and 4 guy who can post a number, but we continue to do it.
Greenville’s Tip Price was medalist with a 68, leading the Red Raiders to their second-place finish.
“I feel like this course you have to position yourself off the tee,” said Price. “My strength is my driver, but I left it in the bag today and I just played what the course gave me,” he said.
Coming off a playoff win in the SCJGA’s Morgan Lucas Championship, Price believes both he and the Red Raider team are where they want to be as the season officially starts with The Rebel.
“We are trending in the right direction and I think we have the chance to do some big things later in the year,” said the Rebel medalist.
Mauldin’s Major Lenning fired a 70, and Spartanburg Day’s Grainger Amick shot 71. Fort Mill’s Cam Baker and Easley’s Colton Evatt both shot even-par 72 to round out the All-Tournament team.
Many of the teams playing in the Rebel Invitational will next play in the Battle of the Dam at the Golden Hills Country Club in Lexington this week.
Next week The Bengal Invitational is a major 36 hole high school event to be played at the Columbia Country Club.
The Rebel Invitational Scores
North Augusta tops Flora at The River Club
The red hot North Augusta team hasn’t cooled down from their sizzling 3-under par win at the Red Raider last week.
In soccer, they call it a friendly, and that might be a good description for the Yellow Jackets match with defending AAAA champions AC Flora.
They are not in the same conference, but will likely see each other a few more times before the state championship, which will be played on the Yellow Jackets home course.
“The River Club was in great condition and their hospitality was wonderful. I hope the Flora team got a good look at the course,” said Travis Spears, the North Augusta golf coach.
Both teams played exceptionally well when the scores are reviewed.
Led by Charles Cauthen’s 4-under par 67, the Falcons finished with a 289 total.
North Augusta was second to Flora in the state championship and it wasn’t close.
The match at The River Club wasn’t either.
The home team shot what is believed to be a school record of 267.
The only teams that anyone can remember going very low included future SEC individual champion and PGA Tour member Matt NeSmith’s led teams.
Future USC AIken golfer Matthew Baxley carded a 6-under par 65 and was matched by 8th grader Luke Jackson for the top Yellow jacket scores.
Davis Neal, who was the medalist at the Red Raider after shooting a 64, backed it up with a 66 in this match.
The Yellow Jackets got a 71 from Jackson Beggs and did not have to use Andrew Baxley’s 74.
The worst score turned in from the ten talented players was a 78.
‘The Flora players had not been on the course before so we set up this match to let them see the course they will be playing in the state championship at the end of the season,” said North Augusta coach Travis Spears.
Just as Spears expects his team to be in the hunt for the title on their home course.
With two impressive performances on their spring resume Spears knows his team is gaining confidence, but he wants to make sure they are not overconfident.
“We have some very good players who are playing great, but there are a lot of really good players all over the state,” he said.
With lineups that are not very different from those used by each team in the state championship and adding in the proper caveat’s, North Augusta turned a 40 shot deficit in the state championship to Flora, into a 22 shot win in the friendly match.
“I have encouraged my guys to play in as many SCJGA events as possible. They had a good summer and fall and came back ready to compete for a title,” said the coach.
Final Score North Augusta 267 – AC Flora 289.
Both teams will be part of the strong field at The Bengal to played over 36 holes at the Columbia Country Club next week.
Categories: High School Golf
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