Many new faces are standing out at the 2022 Hall County golf championships.
But the same teams are in great shape to defend their titles.
On Monday, Gainesville’s boys set the pace as it looks for the program’s 27th county championship, while the defending champion North Hall girls opened a six-shot lead through the first nine holes at Chicopee Woods.
The final round is Tuesday on the same course in Oakwood.
Led by rounds of 1-under par 35 from senior Wiley Hickerson and freshman Henry Kopydlowski, the Red Elephants’ four best scores combined to total 143.
Also counting for Gainesville’s total were Brigham Ralston’s even-par 36 and senior Ryan Davidson’s 1-over par 37.
“The guys are playing well,” Gainesville coach Cameron Millholland said. “We’ve been hitting the ball well, but we haven’t scored so it was nice for our to play well today.”
Hickerson, the defending champion, birdied his final two holes to close out with a number in the red.
Just like many players, Hickerson took advantage of the short par-4 fifth hole.
A big chunk of players were able to drive it to the green on the 280-yard hole.
Hickerson took that approach, then used two putts for birdie.
On his penultimate hole, Hickerson said he maneuvered a good tee shot on the dogleg No. 5, then chipped to 10 feet and made his birdie putt.
Kopydlowski had probably the best shot of the day for the Red Elephants.
Going right after the pin from the No. 5 tee, he said his tee shot landed in the cup and then bounced out with the flag stick still in the ground.
He regathered and two putted for birdie.
Millholland said he was especially pleased with Ralston’s round of 36.
“I’m proud of Brigham for shooting even par,” Millholland said. “That’s big for his confidence.”
In the team standings, Gainesville leads by nine shots over Cherokee Bluff and 13 ahead of third-place North Hall.
Colin Henderson, of North Hall, leads the individual standings. He put an eagle on his scorecard and shot a blistering 3-under par 33.
On the girls side, the Lady Trojans have several new faces, but still hold a commanding lead.
Lille Mallis shot a first-round 42 for North Hall to stand in second overall, while Makayla Jones is third after a first-round 44.
Cherokee Bluff’s Alisa Pressley shot a 39 and holds the individual lead for the girls title with nine holes left to play.
1.Colin Henderson North Hall 33
T2.Henry Kopydlowski Gainesville 35
T2. Wiley Hickerson Gainesville 35
T2. Tanner Stephens Lakeview Academy 35
T5. Brigham Ralston Gainesville 36
T5. Caleb Vancil Cherokee Bluff 36
T7. Ryan Davidson Gainesville 37
T7. JT Chester North Hall 37
T9. Bryce Horton Cherokee Bluff 38
T9. Turner Edmondson Gainesville 38
1. Alisa Pressley Cherokee Bluff 39
T2. Lillie Mallis North Hall 42
T2. Ella Grace Lawler Flowery Branch 42
4. MaKayla Jones North Hall 44
5. Taylor Bays Flowery Branch 48
1. Gainesville 143
2. Cherokee Bluff 152
3. North Hall 156
4. Lakeview Academy 159
5. Chestatee 186
6, Flowery Branch 189
7. West Hall 205
8. Johnson 229
9. East Hall 232
1. North Hall 140
2. Flowery Branch 146
3. Cherokee Bluff 158
4. West Hall 179
5. East Hall 182
6. Chestatee 197
7. Johnson 204