CULLMAN - A long day of prep golf at Terri Pines Country Club ended in a dramatic way Monday before sunset.
The Good Hope Invitational brought 139 golfers to the local country club with 14 varsity teams and seven varsity girls’ teams enjoying the first official day of spring.
The drama unfolded in individual varsity play with the low medalist and positioning on the all-tournament team to be decided with a sudden death playoff.
Rob Richards of Haleyville birdied hole No. 18 to beat out Cedar Bluff's Nick Sawyer for the low medalist. Both finished the 18-hole event with a 5-over par 77.
A five-way tie for fourth had to be ironed out, featuring Good Hope's talented linkster, Cole Pearson.
Pearson was joined by Phillip Cain of Priceville, Colton Russell of Haleyville, Trey Miles of Bibb County and Brock Baker of Helena with an 8-over par 80.
Pearson collected a birdie on 18, but fell out of contention when he scored a bogey on the second hole of the playoff.
Helena won the team crown with a 328, led by Matt Tucker with a 79 and an 80 from Miles. The Huskies had a five-shot victory over Haleyville, who scored a 333.
Bibb County took home third with a 341 while the Cullman Bearcats were fourth with a 362. Hayden came in fifth at 379 then Good Hope with a 382, edging Fairview for sixth place. The Aggies got a 384 for their team total.
The rest of the field finished with Priceville in eighth, then Brewer, West Point 10th with a 445, West Blocton, Sispey Valley and Jemison in last place at 469.
Shae Donnelley and Ben Hunter had the best scores for Cullman on the day with 89, while Joe Wachter shot a 91 and Holder Atchison a 93.
Supporting Pearson's 80 for Good Hope was Riley Eisner with a 90, Josh Cofer 97 and Tyler Wilson 115.
Leading Fairview was Hunter McKelvy with an 83, followed by Josh Barnes at 96, Carter Robinson 99 and Hunter Yeager 106.
The top score for West Point was Brandon Farley with a 97, while Alex Barton scored a 102, Graham Nelson 117 and Jake Wood 129.
Arab and Cullman finished tied for the top team total with a 295. The Lady Knights were given the crown due to their top player, Grace Narrell, shooting an 87 while Bailee Ponder of Cullman carded a 97 from the no. 1 position.
Jordan Mullican joined Ponder with a round of 97 while Brinkley Thornton finished with a 101.
Fairview was third with a 326 as senior Maci Yeager shot a 93, the third best score for the event, and got a spot on the all-tournament team.
Hope Bowen scored a 116 while Brileigh Roberts tallied a 117 for Fairview.
For Good Hope, the Lady Raiders were fourth with a 379, with Tanya Collins scoring a 117 while Leah Bailey and Callie Sharpton both shot a 131.
Conditions at Terri Pines improved from the previous week’s rain and cold that kept people off the course for a few days.
The course was fast with scores rather high in the first high school invitational of the 2017 season, with plenty of prep golf left to be played at TPCC between now and early May.
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