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Boys Athlete of the Week: Gainesville's Grant Lasseter

Red Elephant golfer finding success in recent tournaments

POSTED: March 31, 2014 9:57 p.m.

Grant Lasseter’s recent performance on the golf course is a prime example of why Gainesville boys golf coach Bryson Worley doesn’t like ranking his players.

Typically, the Red Elephants’ senior is the No. 4 or No. 5 golfer in his team’s lineup, but his last three outings have him playing like a No. 1. After shooting his first hole-in-one at the Georgia-South Carolina Cup last Saturday, Lasseter finished third overall at the Big Red Shootout last Monday. He finished the week with a second-place 76 at the Champions Invitational on Wednesday.

“Everybody is our No. 1, the way we look at it,” Worley said. “No matter where you play in the lineup.”

The Red Elephants won all three tournaments, giving them six team victories this season.

For his efforts, Lasseter is The Times’ Boys Athlete of the Week.

“I’ve been striking the ball very well, even though it’s been kind of wet with the rain,” Lasseter said. “I’ve been making a lot of putts, and I’ve been hitting it close to the pin.”

Lasseter’s midseason surge comes during a trying time in Gainesville’s season. The three tournaments were played over a five-day span, all against a tough field of competitors, including a Champions Invitational lineup that features only previous event champions and state champions from the past three years.

Nevertheless, Lasseter found himself in position to win the prestigious tournament at a very difficult Ansley Creek Golf Club, which is rated one of the toughest in the Southeast. He double-bogeyed on a par-5 No. 17, and teammate Spencer Ralston birdied the final two holes to jump ahead by two strokes and secure low medalist.

“That’s a really tough golf course,” Lasseter said. “I played really good that day, and I was striking the ball really well.”

It was apparent that Lasseter, a University of North Georgia signee, brought some of the confidence he gained from the Big Red Shootout two days earlier. Playing on the comfortable confines of Chattahoochee Golf Club, he scored 41 points in the Modified Stableford tournament by carding four birdies, edging teammate Lawson King by two strokes for the team lead.

Lasseter counted on the putter to record the solid outing, something Worley has specifically fine-tuned this season.

“We knew if he got his putter hot, he’d make a lot of birdies and shoot fairly low,” Worley said. “The thing now is trying to stay at that level, and not lose fundamentals. He’s worked hard on his putting, and that’s definitely made the difference.”

Lasseter didn’t even need a putter on No. 12 at Willow Creek Country Club in Greer, S.C. last weekend.

As part of his second-day 79 in the Georgia-South Carolina cup, he dropped a 191-yard tee shot three feet in front of the pin, then watched as it rolled in for his first hole-in-one.

“It was a good shot and I knew it was going right at it, but I didn’t know if it was going to have enough distance,” Lasseter said. “It was really exciting – one of the coolest moments I’ve had on a golf course, ever.”

Coincidentally, Ralston sank a hole-in-one on No. 16 of the course in last year’s South Carolina Cup. Worley witnessed both shots.

“The greens are only probably 50 yards apart,” Worley said. “It’s kind of funny — (Gainesville assistant coach Kevin Brown) and I were watching Spencer’s last year. This year, we were watching Grant hit it.

“It kind of caught us by surprise. We didn’t realize that Grant had hit the shot. It was pretty neat to watch, especially two years in a row like that.”

Gainesville is back in action on Apr. 19 for the North Georgia High School Invitational, a Georgia PGA-ran tournament hosted by Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega.

Achasta will be Lasseter’s new home course when he begins his college career at North Georgia next season. It’s also a course he’s quite familiar with, having won an All-America Junior Golf Tour event there two years ago. In 2013, he returned to help Gainesville win the High School Invitational for a second straight year.

“It just fits my eye really well, the way it lies between the valley,” Lasseter said. “I always like the greens up there — they roll a good speed for me, and they’re somewhat flat.”

Until he tees off at Achasta, Lasseter is keeping himself busy by practicing his short game in peculiar fashion: mini-golf.

He competed in the Mini Masters on Monday at the Oaks Golf Club in Oakwood, an annual mini-golf event held by the Hall County Chapter of Young Life, a Christian youth ministry.

He won the tournament last year, adorning some familiar green attire inspired by the real Masters in Augusta as his reward.

“Whoever wins gets a green jacket,” Lasseter said.


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