By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Gainesville boys, Johnson girls win Hall County golf titles
0311COUNTY GOLF 0001
Johnson junior Justin Hayes lines up his putt during the county golf championships at the Royal Lakes Golf & Country Club on Tuesday in Flowery Branch. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Hall County Championship
at Royal Lakes Golf & Country Club
Tuesday’s results

Boys individual
1. Spencer Ralston Gainesville 36 70
2. Nathan Williams Gainesville 38 74
3. Tanner Merck Flowery Branch 39 75
4. Lawson King Gainesville 39 76
5. Bartley Forrester North Hall 41 77
6. Deuce Gibbs Flowery Branch 40 78
7. Ryan Hogan Gainesville 41 79
8. John Jacobs Lakeview 37 81
T9. 5 tied for 9th place with 83

Boys’ All-Tournament Team
Gainesville’s Spencer Ralston
Gainesville’s Nathan Williams
Gainesville’s Lawson King
Flowery Branch’s Tanner Merck
Flowery Branch’s Deuce Gibbs
North Hall’s Bartley Forrester

Team scores

1. Gainesville 299
2. Flowery Branch 331
3. North Hall 347
4. East Hall 362
5. Johnson 369
6. Lakeview Academy 378
7. Chestatee 390
8. West Hall 444

Girls Individual
1. Macie Hurst Flowery Branch 43 92
T2. Kristin Waters Johnson 47 96
T2. Madison Stewart Johnson 49 96
4. Kayla Watson Chestatee 50 104
T5. Juliana Towns Gainesville 58 109
T5. Delaney Smith West Hall 52 109

Girls’ All-Tournament Team
Flowery Branch’s Macie Hurst
Johnson’s Kristen Waters
Johnson’s Madison Stewart
Chestatee’s Kayla Watson

Team scores

1. Johnson 299
2. Flowery Branch 315
3. Gainesville 361
4. Chestatee 376
5. West Hall 384
6. North Hall 386

With a chance to cement a 2-0 start to the season, Gainesville’s prolific golfing trio didn’t flinch.

Spencer Ralston, Nathan Williams and Lawson King all shot 39 or below on the second and final day to secure the Red Elephants’ fifth straight Hall County championship Tuesday evening at Royal Lakes Golf & Country Club.

Ralston shot a tournament-low 70, including a final-round 36, to lead the field. Williams (74) and King (76) shot 2- and 3-over, respectively, to also earn spots on the all-tournament team.

Gainesville (299) led by 16 shots coming into Tuesday’s final round in Flowery Branch, and would finish with a 32-shot lead over second-place Flowery Branch High (331). North Hall (347) finished in third.

“These kids work so hard everyday, and they’re passionate about what they do,” said Gainesville coach Bryson Worley. “This school is lucky to have three Division-I bound golfers. It’s not lost on me how special they are.”

With the win, Ralston earned his third straight Hall County individual championship. The junior said he wasn’t looking too far ahead, noting that the team dynamics are everything for the Red Elephants.

Gainesville opened up its season by winning the Apple Mountain Invitational last weekend.

“That’ll be really fun,” he said of going for his fourth consecutive individual title. “But I want to focus on what the team has got going here. I was skeptical at first, because of how young this team was, but I’m excited now because we’re all getting better.”

Tricky pin placements meant that Ralston, a Georgia commit, had a couple of bogeys Tuesday afternoon after his 2-under first round. But the junior finished off his last two holes with back-to-back birdies to earn par. The Red Elephants will be back in action on March 20-21 when they travel to the Alpharetta Athletic Club in Alpharetta for the Georgia/South Carolina Cup.

King and Williams are verbally committed to Western Carolina University and Georgia State, respectively.

“(Ralston) did what he had to do towards the end there,” Worley said. “People who finish well hold the trophies.”

Kristin Waters and Madison Stewart hit twin scores of 96 to lead Johnson (299) to a 16-shot win over second-place Flowery Branch. Lady Falcon Macie Hurst (92) hit a tournament-low 43 in the final round to earn a spot on the girls’ All-Tournament Team, but Flowery Branch finished 16 shots behind the Lady Knights. Gainesville finished in third at 361.

Johnson has now won two Hall County titles since the tournament began in 2000.

Coming into the tournament, the Red Elephants had won all but one Hall County championship since 2000, but Juliana Towns (109) was the lone Red Elephant able to crack the top-five scores.

“(Waters) and (Stewart) were the two top golfers and they played neck and neck, so they did a good job at finishing strong,” said Johnson coach Caleb Carmean. “This is a huge confidence booster. It sets the Johnson girls’ team on the map.”

The Lady Knights will play Banks County on Monday at Chicopee Woods.

Regional events