Tee Time: State championship ends in a thriller, Patriots finish in a tie for seventh place

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The 2019 AISA State High School Golf Championship wrapped up play in dramatic fashion on Tuesday afternoon at the Troy Country Club.

Down by one stroke, Morgan Academy’s Jones Free sunk a lengthy birdy putt to force a playoff with Macon East Academy’s Bishop Stringer. After the two remained deadlocked after two holes, Free finally outlasted Stringer to claim the individual state championship.

Morgan Academy not only celebrated an individual championship, they also celebrated as a team after they won their second consecutive team championship.

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The host Pike Liberal Arts Patriots finished the tournament in a tie for seventh place after they finished the two-day tournament with a score of 698 (+130).

“We know there are some really good golfers in AISA,” said Patriot head coach Gene Allen. “Obviously, Glenwood and Morgan were the two best last year and they had everybody coming back, so we were expecting that they were going to be on the top of the leaderboard. They played some really good golf.”

After finishing day one with a score of 355, the Patriots shaved off 12 strokes in round two and shot a 343.

“I was proud of our guys,” Allen said. “We had a tough day yesterday. We came out and played pretty well today. We’re looking forward to getting started again next year.”

Wilkes led the Patriots on day two with his 79 and finished in a tie for 38th place with a combined score of +33.

Jace Calhoun led the Patriots at +21 after shooting an 83 on Tuesday and finished in a tie for 16th. Chip Faircloth fired off a 91 on Tuesday and finished the tournament +38. He finished in a tie with teammate Cooper Lindsey, who shot 90 during his final round. Peyton Jacobs shot a 95 on Tuesday and Molly Kate Jordan shot a 129.

The Patriots now move into the offseason, but even though there won’t be any tournaments, the Patriots will still find time to get on the golf course.

“We will lose Grant, but we have a couple of kids that are really good golfers who are coming back to play for us,” Allen said. “We will go into summer workouts and I’ll try to get them together one day a week and walk nine holes, just to keep them playing a little bit. I know three or four of them are going to play some tournaments this summer so I’m looking forward to it.”

Morgan Academy won the team competition by 30 strokes over the second place Glenwood Gators. Lee-Scott finished in third, Edgewood Academy in fourth and Tuscaloosa Academy in fifth.