Posted: 8:00 am Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
By Stan Awtrey
Hunter Chapman admitted his Brookstone golf team was pretty stoked about playing in the 10th annual High School Invitational at the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course. Throughout the two-hour drive the players kept talking about some of the great shots and foibles they’d see at the historic course during the 2011 PGA Championship.
Once the Cougars arrived, they made a little history of their own. And when Chapman loaded everyone on the van for the ride back to Columbus, they were toting the first-place trophy with them.
Brookstone, the defending Class A Private school champion, shot a 218 and beat the strongest field in Georgia high school golf. The Cougars bested five other state championship teams and staked their claim as one of the state’s preeminent programs.
“We want to establish ourselves as an elite program,” Chapman said. “We had an opportunity to make a statement today and we did.”
Brookstone is led by three solid seniors. Jack Mize was the team’s low man with a 70, which placed him third overall in the individual standings. James Clark, who has signed with Georgia Tech, had a 72 and Mercer Clark shot a 76.
“Our kids were so fired up about coming up here,” Chapman said. “This is really cool. We are humbled just to get an invitation to play here and to win it is definitely special.”
Brookstone was two shots better than Greater Atlanta Christian, which was led by medalist Ben Shipp’s 68. Alex Kim had a 74 and Steffen Smith shot 78.
Shipp, a sophomore, nearly eagled the 18th hole. He aggressively went for it in two shots and his 231-yard shot cleared the water in front of the green by about five feet, leaving him a two-putt for birdie.
“I hit the ball really well,” Shipp said. “I didn’t have any mistakes.”
Shipp was the benefactor when Marist’s Jack Larkin failed to successfully negotiate the Highland’s Calamity Lane, the stretch of extremely difficult final four holes on the Highlands Course. Larkin was 6-under entering No. 15 15, but made a triple bogey and dropped into second place to finish at 69. The War Eagles, who won the tournament last year, finished third at 223.
Girls golf: Tardy wins Atlanta Athletic Club Invitational
Bailey Tardy, the women’s club champion at the Atlanta Athletic Club, shot a 2-under 70 on the Riverside Course to win the inaugural Atlanta Athletic Club Girls Invitational.
“I didn’t putt as well today, but I hit the ball solid and I’m happy with the win,” said Tardy, a junior who has already committed to play at Georgia.
Tardy said she’s probably played the Riverside Course a hundred times and feels at home there. And since she won the Georgia State Golf Association Junior Girls title there last year, she had no problems handling her nerves.
“I was just trying to stick with my game,” she said.
The Cambridge High duo of Sabrina Long and Rachel Dai were second and third. Long shot 73 and Dai finished at 74.