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Johnson boys repeat as Hall County champions
Johnson High’s Grant Cagle watches his ball after teeing off at Royal Lakes Golf Course Tuesday afternoon during the Hall County Golf Championships. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Hall County Championships

Royal Lakes Golf Course

Final totals

Boys top 25 individual scores

Foster, JHS 40-35 75

Cagle, JHS 35-41 76

Martin, GHS 40-36 76

Cochran, GHS 38-39 77

Lloyd, NH 37-40 77

Watson, NH 39-38 77

England, WH 39-39 78

Matthews, NH 38-40 78

Nash, NH 38-41 79

Haynes, NH 39-41 80

Yu, FB 40-42 82

Dunham, JHS 44-38 82

Reeves, JHS 38-44 82

Ward, NH 38-44 82

Frankum, GHS 41-42 83

Reece, GHS 41-43 84

P. Brown, RMA 41-45 86

Stefan, RMA 47-39 86

Braza, WH 43-44 87

Hodges, RMA 39-48 87

C. Brown, RMA 42-45 87

Brisbos, JHS 39-49 88

Chandler, CHS 39-50 89

Gentry, FB 43-46 89

Schmidt, RMA 44-45 89

Girls top 10 individual scores

Cole, GHS 43-42 85

Mathias, WH 50-57 107

Derthick, WH 51-57 108

Mumpower, JHS 56-56 112

Noble, GHS 55-58 113

Frobos, GHS 60-54 114

Carr, NH 60-57 117

Parsons, JHS 62-55 117

Williams, FB 60-60 120

Lewis, NH 60-63 123

FLOWERY BRANCH Johnson had plenty of heroes helping in the team’s second straight Hall County Championship on Tuesday at Royal Lakes.

Sophomore Josh Foster carded a 35 and finished as the tournament’s low medalist. Grant Cagle finished the tournament tied for second in individual honors and sank the clinching putt in a playoff.

But considering the circumstances, perhaps no hero was more unlikely than senior Ben Brisbos.

On hole No. 9, in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff, Brisbos was 15 feet from the cup, putting up a steep incline for par.

Darkness was closing in quickly, and the same predicament had already added strokes to the scores of numerous golfers. But Brisbos’ putt was straight, strong and true.

"When it got about four feet out, I knew it had a chance," Brisbos said.

And when it fell?

"That’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in golf."

The par putt helped the Knights hold off second-place North Hall and defeat the Trojans by one stroke on the playoff hole.

"Oh man, Brisbos stepped up," Johnson coach Jeff Steele said. "That’s what seniors do. That was a tough putt, and he could have easily given up when he knocked by about 15 feet, but he stepped up and knocked it in."

In girls action, Gainesville junior Camryn Cole ran away with her third straight individual championship and guided the Lady Elephants to a repeat team title in the process. She finished Tuesday with a 42, bringing her two-day total to 85. Teammate LeeAnn Noble finished at 113, as Gainesville’s 194 topped second place West Hall by 21 strokes.

The Lady Spartans’ Natalie Mathias was second among girls individuals, with 107. She was followed by teammate Hannah Derthick with a 108.

The North Hall boys entered Tuesday nursing a one-stroke advantage over Johnson, but carried by Foster’s big day, the Knights evened the score at the end of nine holes sending the tournament to a playoff.

After a bogey on No. 13, Foster rallied. He birdied 14, then followed up with a chip-in birdie on 17.

"When I got that bogey on 13, I thought, well, I’m just going to try to hang in there," Foster said. "Then it was one of those things where everything was falling."

With daylight fading fast and a large gallery gathering at the green, both teams sent six golfers out for the playoff hole, dropping the lowest two scores.

Led by pars from Cagle and Brisbos, the Knights finished the playoff 2-over.

"It was so dark you couldn’t even see in front of you," Foster said. "You were just putting and guessing. It was awesome though; everybody standing around you, watching. It felt like a big tournament, and it was."

Steele said he was encouraged by the character displayed by his team, which got off to a rough start in Monday’s round before closing strong.

"I don’t even know what to say," Steele said. "What impressed me was how we composed ourselves and held it together. Then today, Josh, as a sophomore, stepping up like he did and the pressure of that (playoff) situation where it’s almost dark — both schools did a good job to get the scores they got.

"We’re proud, man. We beat quality teams. Our region represents every year in state."

Gainesville’s Jake Martin tied with Cagle for second in the boys individual standings, carding a 36 on Tuesday to finish the tournament at 76. Gainesville senior Justin Cochran and North Hall’s Jimmy Lloyd and Derek Watson each finished the event at 77.

Lloyd’s score suffered from a two-stroke penalty Tuesday, incurred when he laid his putter down between the ball and the hole while lining up a putt. Lloyd, The Times 2008 Golfer of the Year and defending Region 7-AAA champ, self-reported the incident.

"It was an accidental mistake, but it was against the rules," North Hall coach Robert Mills said. "(Lloyd) grew up a lot today, and he showed a lot of class. I told him that meant a whole lot more to me than winning."

Regional events