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BOYS’ GOLF: Ramblers win LaFayette Invitational by five strokes

March 4, 2017 GMT

It was just six years ago that the LaFayette Ramblers won the LaFayette Invitational and did so with a team score of 344.

That score would have been good enough for seventh place in the 2017 edition of the tournament.

Instead, the Ramblers were the only team in the 17-team field to post a score under 300 at the LaFayette Golf Course on Saturday as they won what they hope will be the first of many tournaments this spring.

LaFayette’s turned in four scores of 77 or better and finished with a 298 to win the tournament by five shots. Class A private school stalwart First Presbyterian Day made the long drive up from Macon and placed second at 303, while Ft. Payne, Ala. went home with a third-place finish at 317.

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The victory ended two years of frustration for the hometown team, who were forced to settle for the runner-up trophy each time.

“It’s crazy,” head coach Tom Langford said. “The last two years we’ve shot what would have been the lowest score in the tournament’s history, only to have someone else come in at the end with a lower score. So to finally shoot a good score and have it hold up is nice.”

Gage Smith led the Ramblers with a 72 and finished as the tournament’s individual runner-up, while Cole Ingram was a shot back at 73. Carter Grant fired a 76 and Matthew Ingram came in at 77 to round out the team score. Riley Grant (82) and Zack Whittle (92) also teed it up for the Ramblers.

“As the weather heated up today, all the guys’ games started heating up,” Langford added. “Gage was 3-over at one point today and finished at even-par. Cole was 3-over early, but chipped in for eagle at No. 7 and held his round together.

“Matthew has always been a warm weather golfer and he proved that again today and Carter shot 33 on the back nine after a 43 on the front nine. Without that, we might not be having this conversation.”

FPD was the only other school to post four scores in the 70’s. They were led by Wesley Hanson, who earned a spot on the five-man All-Tournament Team, along with Smith and Ingram. The other two spots went to low medalist Harrison Davis of Ft. Payne (71) and his teammate Dawson Garrett (74).

Gordon Lee, who hopes to have sophomore Tucker Windham back in the lineup soon, was fourth with a 317. Justin Hickman paced the Trojans with a 3-over 75, followed by Gray Weldon (79), Jacob Carlock (81) and Tucker Graham (84). Christian Boyd (95) and Cole Walker (99) also played for the Navy-and-White.

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LaFayette’s “B” team was eighth with a 349. Jon Morgan led the way with an 84, followed by Tyler Jackson (86), Mason Cain (89) and Jon Durham (90). Kyle Moore (96) and Josh Bettis (100) also played, while Grant Langford played as an unattached player and shot a solid 83.

Heritage finished 15th overall at 371. The Generals were led by Matthew Redman’s 89, followed by Logan Self (91), Patrick Redman (91), Trevor Badacour (100), Sam Williams (100) and Luke Bussey (100).

Final Team Standings:

1. LaFayette “A” – 298

2. First Presbyterian Day – 303

3. Ft. Payne, Ala. – 317

4. Gordon Lee – 319

5. Northwest Whitfield – 342

6. Coahulla Creek – 343

7. Sequoyah – 346

8. LaFayette “B: - 349

9. Cedartown – 353

10. Calhoun – 356

11. Pickens – 359

12. Trion – 363

13. Cass – 368

14. Dalton – 370

15. Heritage – 371

16. Gordon Central – 372

17. Southeast Whitfield – no team score