All it took was one shot for North Hall’s Jimmy Lloyd to realize that he was on his golf game.
But what he didn’t know at the time is that he was about to play the round of his life.
The sophomore had six birdies and an eagle on No. 3 to finish with a career-low round of 66 and claim the individual title at the Region 7-AAA golf tournament at Royal Lakes on Monday.
“After I hit my drive on No. 1 I knew it was going to be a good day,” said Lloyd, who will represent Region 7-AAA in the individual portion of the Class AAA state tournament. “I just focused on playing shot by shot and not thinking about what’s coming up.”
What was in store for Lloyd was not one, but two championships in one day. Along with claiming the individual title, his 66 helped pave the way for the Trojans to claim their second consecutive region team championship and third in four years.
“I’m glad I played good, but the team is more important to me,” said Lloyd, who started his round 4-under par with birdies on No. 1 and No. 2 and the eagle on No. 3. He finished the front nine with a 32, two strokes better than his good friend Grant Cagle of Johnson, who was playing in the same group.
That two-stroke lead proved to be the difference, as Lloyd shot a 34 on the back nine and Cagle carded a 33 to finish one stroke behind the Trojans sophomore.
Although the individual title was not determined until the final hole, North Hall as a team left no doubt as to which team was going to win the region championship.
Along with Lloyd’s 66, Derek Watson shot a 77, Landry Haynes carded a 78 and Jesse Tipton, who was playing in the No. 6 spot for the Trojans, fired an 86 to give North Hall a combined score of 307, which was 10 strokes better than region runner-up Lumpkin County.
The second-place finish qualifies the Indians for the Class AAA State Tournament on May 5 at Hawks Ridge Golf Course in Ball Ground.
“It was a good win,” North Hall coach Robert Mills said. “The kids played hard and competed well. I was really pleased.
“I told them to play our game and see what happens,” Mills added. “The guys felt they could win.”
Not only did the win continue the Trojans’ dominance in region tournaments, it made them forget about the two-stroke loss to Johnson in April’s Hall County Championships, which was also played at Royal Lakes.
“Not winning Hall County hurt them,” Mills said. “But that was early in the year and we’ve improved a lot since then.”
Those improvements have led the Trojans back to the state tournament, which they will be participating in for the fourth time in five years.
“It’s a good reward and we’re going to enjoy it,” Mills said of the state tournament. “Of course we’re going to try and win it, but there are some really good teams in AAA.”
The Region 7-AAA girls golf tournament will be played Thursday at Mossy Creek Golf Course in Cleveland.