Area golf teams struggle on day one at statePublished 5:58am Wednesday, May 16, 2012
AUBURN — Uncooperative weather and a difficult course have proved powerful foes to the Russellville and Red Bay boy’s golf teams. Both teams are at Grand National Golf Course in Auburn/Opelika for the state championship golf tournament.
Russellville started off Monday morning with an 8:57 tee-off time for its first player of the day. By the end of day one, Russellville High School was in sixth place out of six teams in 5A.
“This is a tough course, and there’s a lot of pressure on the kids,” Russellville head golf coach Jason Haithcock said. “This is the first time here for this group, and the lack of experience got the better of us.”
Fort Payne went into day two leading with a combined 305. Second place was Briarwood Christian with a 307, and St. Paul was third with a 313.
Chilton County shot a 319 on day one, good enough for fourth place. Cullman had a 329, and Russellville combined for a 332, putting them in sixth at +44 and 27 strokes behind leader Fort Payne.
“You can’t miss these greens,” Haithcock said. “There are hazards all round them, and you can’t make mistakes. We made a lot of pars and missed some greens. It seems like misses beat us more than anything.”
Neither Russellville nor Red Bay got in a full practice round due to the rain that crossed Alabama starting on Saturday.
“I feel like the kids will shoot better tomorrow,” Haithcock said.
At the end of day one Red Bay sat at fourth place with a round one combined score of 341, 30 strokes behind first place Providence Christian’s 311. St. Luke’s was in second with a 326, and Shoals Christian shot a 327, good enough for third.
Holy Spirit was in fifth with a 362 and Lamar County came in sixth with a 368.
“I don’t think any of the teams played to their ability today,” Red Bay head golf coach Johnny Cleveland said. “The rainy weather has been a factor, and I think the kids are a little intimidated by the course. Rain delays shortened our practice. I think it will be better tomorrow.”
Editor’s Note — The teams finished play on Tuesday, but the final scores were not in by press time. Coverage of the tournament’s conclusion will be in Saturday’s edition of The Franklin County Times.