North Georgia High School Classic
at Achasta Golf Course, Dahlonega
1. Lee McCoy, Habersham Central 141
T2. Jackson Bishop, Gainesville 142
T2. Michael Pisciotta, Alpharetta 142
4. Nathan Mallonee, Oglethorpe County 143
5. Thomas Rimel, Roswell 144
T6. Spencer Ralston, Gainesville 146
T6. Tye Waller, Spalding 146
8. Lawson King, Gainesville 147
9. Grant Lasseter, Gainesville 148
10. Pep Brown, Gainesville 149
DAHLONEGA — Even after playing two solid days of golf, Habersham Central’s Lee McCoy had to hold his breath for a bit as his putt to win on No. 9, his final hole of the event, looked to break a little away from the cup in the North Georgia High School Classic on Tuesday.
“It was just a five-footer for par and started right for the middle of the hole,” said McCoy.
McCoy survived a lengthy weather delay of about two hours on the Achasta Course when the putt rode the lip and dropped to win the tournament outright with a two-day, 36-hole total of 141. The win marked the fifth individual tournament title this season for McCoy, who played his first three years of high school golf in Clearwater, Fla.
“Overall, I hit the ball well both days,” said McCoy, a University of Georgia signee. “I was striking the ball well, even though it took me 70 putts to finish.”
McCoy has also won this year at the Big Red Invitational, Jekyll Island, Apple Mountain and the Georgia/South Carolina Invitational.
Even though the battle for the individual title was still up in the air until the final golfers headed back on the course after the weather cleared, the team title had long since been locked up.
Gainesville sophomore Jackson Bishop finished in a second-place tie individually with a 142 as the Red Elephants placed five golfers in the top 10 to run away with the tournament team title with a final score of 586. Alpharetta placed second (607), Roswell earned third place (609), Habersham Central finished fourth (619) and Spalding was fifth (623).
The Red Elephants had five players shoot a 75, or better, on the final 18 holes to grab a 21-stroke victory and their third team title of the season. Gainesville was strong early in the final round with a team score hovering around a 5-under par before a couple players struggled during the stretch of holes between 10-12.
“We played really well as a team,” Gainesville coach Bryson Worley said. “The strength of this team is our depth.
“This was a great tournament to be a part of with a good field of schools, most all of them bigger than us in classification. They keep Achasta in great shape, and we really enjoy coming to play here.”
On Day 2, Bishop fired four birdies, including consecutive birdies on Nos. 4-6, for a 70 at the end of the day.
Bishop started strong with birdies on the par 5s No. 4 and 6 with wedge shots to close range for his birdie putts.
He only had two bogeys Tuesday.
“My short irons were right on today,” Bishop said.
Also finishing in the top 10 for Gainesville was eighth grader Spencer Ralston with a 146.
Even though McCoy shot a 69 on the final day, it could have even been better. He missed putts on a lip out at 15 and 17 early in his round that started on the back nine.
Even though McCoy said he struggled putting, which led him to change putters after Day 1, he was solid hitting the ball off the tees and on the fairways. He started Day 2 with a birdie on No. 10 when he hit a wedge to within 10 feet of the cup for birdie, and went on to birdie three of the first four holes.
McCoy was consistent from the fairway both days hitting 15 greens in both rounds with two shots still remaining to save par.
That, paired with a 72 on the first round, was enough to win the tournament title out of a 12-team field.
Before moving to Habersham Central, McCoy earned All-County honors in Pinellas County, Fla. and was a state placer as a junior for Calvary Christian.