However, the Cartersville golf team did pull out a tightly contested one-stroke victory and narrowly edged out Gordon Central Thursday in Calhoun to earn the crown of region champs and advance to the sectionals on May 5.
The Canes scored a combined 355 to defeat Gordon Central, who scored a 356 between its four golfers.
“It came down to the last hole. Basically, our player [David Tillman] on the last hole, didn’t know it, but he needed to come in with an 85 and that’s what he did,” Cartersville head golf coach Dennis Godfrey said. “I think it was kind of unexpected because we hadn’t been playing too well, so we were kind of surprised.”
Junior Pierce Dempsey was the low medalist for Cartersville with a score of 80. Senior Carter Bishop shot a 92 and fellow senior Stephen Hopkins shot a 98.
“David Tillman shot his best round yesterday, so he’s been struggling, but he shot his best round,” Godfrey said. “Pierce has been real consistent and Carter shot one of his better rounds. Stephen, who has been our No. 2 player all year, he just had a lot of bad luck [Thursday].”
Tillman especially stepped up on the big day.
“The way it happened made it even better. You had a player [Tillman] step up, who had been struggling all year, and got the job done or else we wouldn’t have won it,” Godfrey said. “He had a pretty good frontside and stepped up on the back and you just get into a zone when you’re playing well.
“You get in that situation sometimes, when you play in a tournament like that, and your best comes out. You either win this or you go home.”
Meanwhile, Dempsey had a strong round, finishing six shots back of the low medalist in the region.
“He was the one who really got it started,” Godfrey said of Dempsey.
Overall, Godfrey, who is in his first year as Cartersville’s golf coach, was extremely pleased with the outcome.
“It’s super. Anytime you win a region championship, that’s what you’re shooting for, no pun intended,” he said. “Anytime you do that, it’s a great experience for them and I’m just happy for them.”
Looking forward to the sectionals, Cartersville will need an even better performance. The team only has four members. Most teams at sectionals will have six players and will take the four lowest scores. Because Cartersville only has four players, it can not afford a bad day from any of its golfers.
“We’re going to have to shoot better than 355. We’re going to have to shoot a lot better,” Godfrey said. “All four have to play well. We can’t slip up because we dont have six, so there’s a little more pressure on them than some of the other teams.
“If you have a bad day, you have a problem at this level.”