Sitting in the clubhouse with a team score of 133, North Hall golf coach Robert Mills was hoping that the score would be good enough to win first place at the sixth annual Big Red Shootout.
As the scores started to come in, the Trojans remained in the lead, and with only four team scores left to be accounted for, North Hall’s chances of winning were fairly high.
And then Johns Creek’s coach handed in his scorecards: 34, 32, 35, 25, 33. The Gladiators posted a 134 to beat North Hall by one in the tournament’s Modified Stableford Scoring System.
The brief celebration from Johns Creek ended minutes later when North Forsyth coach Nathan Turner handed in his scorecards: 29, 32, 36, 32, 34. The Knights had tied the Gladiators, and thanks to a fifth-score tiebreaker, North Forsyth left Chattahoochee Golf Course with its first Big Red Shootout championship.
“This is a magnitude of three years of hard work,” Turner said. “We have a dedicated group of kids that have raised the bar for golf at North Forsyth High School.”
What made the victory even more enjoyable for Turner was the fact that his team can now paint the elephant trophy purple and cover up the blue that symbolizes South Forsyth, the two-time reigning champ.
“Knowing that they’ve owned us makes it sweet,” Turner said. “It’s gonna feel good to paint over their colors.”
While Turner celebrated the victory, the Trojans were left with another runner-up finish.
“We finished second last year and the year before,” Mills said. “We played well, and to have four kids in the 30s is pretty good.”
North Hall’s high scorer was Landry Haynes, who shot a 72 and scored 39 points.
Haynes tied with South Forsyth’s Chris Guglielmo and Lumpkin County’s Aaron George for the individual championship.
Scoring that well in Monday’s cold and rainy playing conditions wasn’t easy.
“It was rough out there,” George said. “I just thought about hitting greens and making putts.”
The wet weather provided soft greens, but didn’t alter George’s playing style.
“I was going to be aggressive anyway,” said George, who birdied No. 8, No. 14 and No. 15.
Equally as aggressive was Haynes, who had birdies on No. 6 and No. 13.
“For Landry to shoot a 72 in those conditions was amazing,” said Mills, who got scores in the 30s from Jimmy Lloyd (33), Charlie Matthews (31) and Jackson Berry (30).
“I just told the guys to play golf because we’ve played in weather a whole lot worse than this.”
Turner had the same message for his team, who won the tournament thanks to 34 points from his final golfer, Allan Watson.
“Our fifth golfer stepped up in a big way,” Turner said. “He eagled No. 8 and that was the key.”
So was being able to play through the conditions.
“The weather conditions didn’t seem to bother us,” Turner said. “We adapted well to it.”
Turner’s rivals finished fourth in the tournament and Lumpkin County finished fifth. Will Frankum’s 33 points led Gainesville, which finished five points behind the Indians for sixth place.
Elbert County, Blessed Trinity, Habersham Central and Johnson rounded out the top 10.