Big breaks – Oak Mountain wins county tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Many golfers struggled with strong winds during last Thursday’s Shelby County high school golf tournament, but the gusts were no problem for the Oak Mountain Eagles, who soared to a county title behind the performances of sophomore Jake Sartin and junior Jake Nolen.

&uot;I played well today,&uot; Sartin said after sinking a put on the 18th hole to secure the tournament’s best score, a two-under-par 70. &uot;I made some good puts.&uot;

Sartin earned his spot as the boys low medalist with solid play throughout the round, including an eagle on the par-five hole number five.

&uot;It was pretty windy,&uot; he said. &uot;I had to keep the ball low.&uot;

Nolen also posted one of the tournament’s best scores with a 73.

The Meadows golf course in Harpersville hosted the tournament, which Nolen said might have given some of Oak Mountain’s golfers an advantage.

&uot;We’re kind of a team of long hitters – and occasionally crooked hitters – so this course kind of played into our favor a couple of times.&uot;

Oak Mountain coach John Pledger said he wasn’t surprised that his team played well, but said he was impressed with some of the low scores.

&uot;Obviously the two Jakes were playing at their best,&uot; Pledger said. &uot;Because of the wind, I didn’t think anybody would be hitting under par today. But they did really well.&uot;

Oak Mountain’s team score of 299 clinched the county title, edging Briarwood Christian with 313 team strokes.

Sartin and Nolen were both named to the all-county team along with Kyle Gray, Pelham; Andrew Saunders, Briarwood; Matt Merrick, Oak Mountain; and Carter Slappey, Briarwood.

Briarwood’s Laura Goodwin shot a 76 and was crowned girls low medalist.

Pledger said he hoped his team could keep up the strong play through sectionals, where the top two teams and top two individuals qualify for the state championship tournament.

&uot;Hopefully we can carry over the momentum,&uot; Pledger said.

Oak Mountain, Pelham, Briarwood and Calera all played in sectional tournaments Monday. Results were unavailable at presstime.

Thompson is scheduled to play in the Class 5A, Section 2 tournament today at O’Colony Golf Club in Tuscaloosa.

Class 4A, Section 2 teams Chelsea, Montevallo and Shelby County will play Thursday at

Lagoon Park Golf Course in Montgomery, which also hosts Indian Springs in the 3A, Section 1 tournament the same day.

In girls competition Briarwood, Chelsea, Indian Springs, Oak Mountain, Pelham, Shelby County and Thompson will all travel

for the Section 2 tournament Thursday in Sylacauga.

The boys and girls state tournaments will be held May 10-11 at Hampton Cove in Huntsville. The boys 1A-3A tournament and girls competition will take place on the Highlands Course. Boys 4A-6A will be played on the River Course