Devils win Floyd County In­vi­ta­tional

Cooper Greer wins a play­off for low medal­ist hon­ors.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Tommy Ro­manach Sports Writer TRo­manach@RN-T.com

The Model boys’ golf team looked like a group that could con­tend for a state cham­pi­onship on the first day of the Floyd County In­vi­ta­tional. Not much changed on Day 2.

The Blue Devils com­pleted a re­mark­able two-round per­for­mance Wed­nes­day at Stone­bridge Golf Club with four golfers shoot­ing 77 or bet­ter and the team shoot­ing a 306, more than 100 strokes bet­ter than their com­pe­ti­tion.

It was ex­actly the type of achieve­ment Model wanted to have as the post­sea­son gets close.

“It re­ally helps to have kids that play golf all the time, and that’s what these kids do,” Model coach Todd Gil­le­land said. “They play as a team, and as long as they do that they are go­ing to have good scores. I’m proud of them and I know we can carry this on.”

Cooper Greer and Jonathan Bryan each fin­ished with 18hole scores of 76, and Greer won the in­di­vid­ual ti­tle af­ter three sud­den death play­off holes. Team­mates Cody Boaz­man and Grant Elliott fin­ished just be­hind with each get­ting a 77.

Coosa’s Daw­son Tate had the low­est score among the rest of the field with a 79, Pep­perell’s Cody Bal­lard led his team with an 88 and DreQuan Cook paced Ar­muchee with a 96.

Nei­ther Bryan nor Greer could get the up­per hand as the duo went to a play­off, with both of them shoot­ing 5 on their first two tries at the 10th hole. But with the stakes high, both golfers con­tin­ued to en­cour­age each other af­ter ev­ery shot.

“It was just fun to watch them com­pete,” Gil­le­land said. “You could see Cooper was help­ing out on the green with Jonathan and vice versa. Both of them wanted each other to do well, and I thought it was just fun go­ing back and forth.”

It wasn’t Greer’s best day on the course, shoot­ing two shots

worse than he did on Tues­day and find­ing the wa­ter on the ninth hole.

On the first play­off hole, he missed an op­por­tu­nity to win the tour­na­ment on a three-foot putt.

But the ju­nior kept his com­po­sure

and sank a tough putt to send the play­off to an­other hole. Af­ter a good ap­proach shot on the third try, he sank a birdie putt to win his sec­ond straight Floyd County in­di­vid­ual ti­tle.

“It is like my dad al­ways says, ‘Just keep your head down and your fol­low through short,’” Greer said. “Af­ter I pushed that first putt, I just told my­self not to do it again.”

Model’s per­for­mance comes at the right time, with the Area 3-AA tour­na­ment at Fields Ferry Golf Club in Cal­houn less than two weeks away and state soon af­ter. The Blue Devils fin­ished eighth at state last year with a score of 326.

For now, Gil­le­land can only ask that his team keep prac­tic­ing, keep sup­port­ing each other and keep the same com­po­sure they dis­played on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.

“Just keep your fo­cus, don’t lose any kind of fo­cus,” Gil­le­land said, “We know we can play well, and as long as we keep that fo­cus we’ll be fine.”

Tommy Ro­manach / Rome News-Tri­bune

Model’s Grant Elliott (left) watches Coosa’s Daw­son Tate putt on the No. 5 green at Stone­bridge on Wed­nes­day dur­ing the Floyd County In­vi­ta­tional.

Tommy Ro­manach / Rome News-Tri­bune

Model’s Cooper Greer makes a putt on the No. 10 green to win a play­off with team­mate Jonathan Bryan at Stone­bridge Golf Club on Wed­nes­day dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Floyd County In­vi­ta­tional.

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