What a week it was for the Morgan County High School’s golfers. Not only did Bailey Smith shoot a 78 at the UGA Golf Course in the Athens Classic High School Invitational, but Madison Walley also won the Girls’ High School Water Wheel Tournament Saturday. On top of the individual honors by these two team leaders, the boys team went to 3-0 on the season with wins at Cherokee Run and at home vs. Loganville and Monroe Area.
The UGA event saw Coach Josh Reeves take two of his top players to the venue on Saturday. Along with Smith was freshman Landon Breedlove who shot a 91 on the tough layout. Walley, a first-year newcomer for the Lady Dogs, took top honors at the annual Water Wheel event with an outstanding score of 88 to edge out two other competitors from around the state. The talented junior talked about her winning round with these words, “The front nine was not kind. I was able to regroup and play a great final nine and shoot an 88. I am very pleased with my performance. I hope to continue to improve my game.”
In the match over Loganville and Monroe earlier in the week, the boys won a close match with Smith and Breedlove again leading the way. In the nine-hole weekday format both players posted a 43, but, according to both, could have been better had it not been for a couple of errors along the way. Bailey commented on his round, “Really, it was two shots that hurt my round. I hit a bad tee shot on six and was hitting three off the tee. On eight, I had an uphill lie above my feet that I pulled left into the woods, and couldn’t find my ball. I had to take a drop there and that’s what cost me.” All three of the top contenders in the number one group shot identical 43’s. Asked about the conditions, Smith added, “Conditions weren’t the best. We’ve had a lot of rain and with the course work being done to improve the irrigation system, it was tough. The windy and cold weather didn’t help either.” He mentioned his work load of working on his tee shots with swing coach Karl Gross this week, “I hope to get things sorted out off the tee with him tomorrow.”
Breedlove also went over his round as well. “I shot a 43, but bogeyed the last hole (number 1) which is usually a pretty easy hole for me. I’m not a long hitter so I have to make up for it with my short game. After four holes I was playing well with all pars and some birdie opportunities I could have made. The next few holes are long for me. I’ve always hit the ball straight, so I’m hoping that as I get older and get bigger and stronger; I’ll get a lot longer off the tee.” The youngster has just recently turned 15 and is now participating in AJCA and Hurricance Tournaments as well as local events. “I just need to keep working and improving by putting in the work,” he added.
Coach Pam Hooten (girls) said, “I am pleased with our team’s performance today (at the Water Wheel). In order to qualify for state we must shoot below 330 for 18 holes. We are close already! The great thing is that we do not have any seniors and these girls will play for the next two or three years!”
The golf teams are scheduled for events this Thursday at Hart County beginning at 4:30 and weekend tournaments for the girls at the Georgia Club while the boys will participate in and host the first annual Tom Duff Classic. Coach Duff was a long-time golf coach for the Bulldogs as well as an assistant football coach. He also served as the MCHS chaplain for many years. The tournament will be held in his memory after his passing this past summer. Monday, Mar. 26, the boys and girls will travel to Loganville for an away match at the Providence Club.