Big shots – Eagles dominate leaderboard

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Just when Jake Nolen’s round looked like it was headed for the tank, the Oak Mountain senior pulled it together and birdied his final three holes to claim a share of the Shelby County tournament title.

Nolen was one of four OMHS golfers to finish in the top five, including sophomore teammate Tyler Murray who joined him atop the leaderboard with a three-under-par 69.

The Eagles were declared team champions shortly after play was ended due to lightning and heavy rain about halfway through Thursday’s tournament at The Meadows Golf Club in Harpersville.

Nolen, who was among the tournament’s top finishers last year, was 4-under par through seven holes. He met trouble on the back nine, three-putting No. 12, driving into a water hazard on 13 and bogeying 14 to put him 4-over on a three-hole stretch.

But Nolen came back strong and birdied his final three holes to turn in the day’s low score.

&uot;I played well,&uot; he said. &uot;But I left a lot of shots out there.&uot;

Murray also got off to a hot start. His tee shot with an 8-iron landed within two feet of the cup on No. 3, giving the sophomore a tap-in for birdie.

&uot;That was the shot of the day right there,&uot; Murray said. &uot;That’s what got my round going.&uot;

Oak Mountain’s Jake Greer and Briarwood Christian’s Rosson Anderson finished tied for third at 1-under-par 71.

Junior Jake Sartin, who won last year’s tournament with a score of 70, turned in a 72 for the Eagles to round out the top five.

Oak Mountain built up plenty of momentum heading into yesterday’s Class 6A sectional at Ballantrae Golf Club in Pelham.

&uot;I think this tournament should give our team some confidence going into sectionals,&uot; Nolen said after the Shelby County tournament.

Oak Mountain was joined by Pelham, Spain Park and Thompson at Tuesday’s sectional tournament, a qualifier for the state tournament May 9-10 at Opelika’s Grand National Course. Results were unavailable at presstime.

Briarwood and Shelby County were scheduled to compete in the 5A sectional at the O’Colony Golf Club in Tuscaloosa while Calera’s 2A sectional was held at nearby Timberline Golf Club.

Indian Springs traveled to Montgomery’s Lagoon Park Golf Course for the 3A Section 1 tournament.

The Class 4A Section 2 tournament is scheduled for today for Chelsea and Montevallo at Farm Links at Pursell Farms in Fayetville.

Briarwood Christian, Indian Springs, Oak Mountain, Pelham, Spain Park and Thompson all competed in the Girls Section 2 tournament at Lakewood Golf Course in Phenix City. Results were unavailable at presstime