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Lasseter leads Gainesville to Big Red Shootout victory

Red Elephants claim top spot in tournament for 2nd consecutive year

POSTED: March 24, 2014 10:37 p.m.

A long-running tradition of the Big Red Shootout features the winning team painting their school’s colors on the tournament’s intricate elephant trophy.

This year, no paint was necessary.

Host Gainesville scored 155 points in the annual Modified Stableford event Monday at Chattahoochee Golf Course, securing its second consecutive tournament title.

Led by Grant Lasseter’s third-place 41, Gainesville finished eight points ahead of second-place Lovett’s 147, with all five of the Red Elephants’ Team A golfers scoring more than 30 points.

“Watching some of the other teams, I thought it was going to be really close,” Gainesville coach Bryson Worley said. “Lovett was very strong.”

The Modified Stableford format challenged the golfers by rewarding points for better holes. An ace or double eagle offers 12 points, an eagle is eight, a birdie is four, a par is two and a bogey is one. No points are earned for anything worse.

That meant taking chances on several holes, and the Red Elephants felt comfortable doing just that on their home course. They beat last year’s winning score by six points.

“This format is a little different — it rewards really aggressive play,” Worley said. “You can have two pars, and then bogey/birdie, and you’re going to have five points instead of four. It rewards good play, and if you have a big number it doesn’t hurt you.”

Lasseter’s team-leading score meant birdying on four holes and using the putter to outscore teammate Lawson King by two points.

Two-time defending Hall County champion Spencer Ralston’s 38 and Jackson Bishop’s 37 also factored into Gainesville’s team score.

“At this point on our team, I’m always putting pressure on myself to try to shoot better and one-up everybody,” Lasseter said. “When it comes to down to it, I just have to stick to my own game. Today, fortunately I was hitting the ball well and getting a lot of birdies.”

The only players Lasseter couldn’t catch were Lovett’s Alexander DeRosa at 45 and Cambridge’s Ryan Staghler at 44.

Jake Fenot of Lambert was the only golfer to score exactly 40 points.

“For players that are consistent and have a bunch of pars with a few bogeys and birdies here and there, it’s rough,” Lasseter said. “But if you get a lot of birdies and eagles that day, it’s going to treat you well.”

Lambert ended up third with 145, only two behind Lovett. Blessed Trinity finished third at 131, and fifth-place resulted in a tie between Milton and Westminster at 129.

The win keeps Gainesville unbeaten on the season through five events, but Wednesday’s Champions Invitational at Ansley Creek Golf Club in Roswell might be the Red Elephants’ toughest test of the season.

Gainesville will face off against defending state champions from 2013, as well as previous tournament winners.

The Red Elephants won the event last season.

Adding to the challenge is Ansley Creek’s reputation for being one of the hardest courses in Georgia.

“We’re looking forward to it — it’s a good field,” Worley said.

North Hall was the only other Hall County team to compete in the Big Red Shootout, with Hunter Young’s 32 leading the Trojans’ overall score of 109.

Buford finished with 120 points, led by Taylor Mitchell’s 35. Habersham Central, the 2012 champion, scored 119 points. Jackson County carded a 109, with York Delloyd tying King for fifth place at 39.

Gainesville’s “B” team scored a 106.


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