Spain Park finishes second at Bradley Johnson Memorial

The Spain Park High School golf team spent the majority of the first month of the 2010 season on the road playing at some of the top courses around the state.

The defending Class 6A champion Jaguars returned home to the Founders Course at Greystone Country Club for the fourth-annual Bradley Johnson Memorial tournament March 22-23 and put together its best rounds so far this spring.

Senior Connor Pratt carded an even-par 72 in the final round Tuesday as he led the Jaguars to a second-place finish at the tournament, which is in honor of a former Spain Park golfer who died in a car accident in 2006.

“It is the best we’ve played this year,” said Spain Park coach Al Del Greco.

The Jaguars finished with a two-day total of 622 strokes. Briarwood Christian School finished in a tie for seventh place with a score of 635. Oak Mountain carded a two-day total of 683 and finished 13th overall in the 16-team field.

Mountain Brook captured the team title with a two-day score of 618. UMS-Wright senior Bobby Wyatt won the individual title with a score of 2-under par 142, including a 5-under par 67 on the final day of competition.

Pratt, who will play collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University in the fall, wrapped up the tournament with a two-day total of 6-over par 150 to finish in a tie for second place in the individual standings.

Briarwood Christian’s Matthew Belling finished in a tie for third place. Belling shot an 8-over par 152 during the tournament, including the lowest round on day one with a two-over par 74.

Pratt and Belling were named to the all-tournament team.

“It was nice to finish on the all-tournament team,” Belling said. “I felt pretty good about it because there were a lot of good players out there.”

Michael Johnson, Bradley’s younger brother, finished with the second lowest score for the Jaguars with a two-day total of 11-over par 155.

Four of Spain Park’s five golfers improved their score on the second day of the tournament, which helped the Jaguars move from a tie for fourth place after day one to second overall.

“It’s our home course,” Del Greco said. “Our guys did a great job mounting a comeback.”

Briarwood Christian finished tied for seventh in its first tournament of the season. Weather conditions had cancelled all previously scheduled matches this season, said Briarwood coach Jim Brown.

“Overall, we felt pretty good about our progress,” Brown said.

Clay Nolen and Zac Goozee led Oak Mountain as each fired a 22-over par 166.

Northridge golfer Ross Stickley hit the first hole-in-one in tournament history in the second round March 23 at hole No. 7 on the Founders Course.

Wyatt won the tournament for the second year in a row. Wyatt called Bradley Johnson a “friend and mentor” after accepting the championship trophy.

“It’s a wonderful way to celebrate Bradley’s life,” Wyatt said.

Johnson placed second at the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur and was also named the Robert Trent Jones Jr. Golf Tour Player of the Year in 2002.

The tournament benefits the Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation, which helps high school golfers earn college scholarships.

“We want to help others continue to play the game that Bradley loved,” said Shari Johnson, Bradley’s mother.

Spain Park, 321-301—622

Connor Pratt, 78-72—150

Michael Johnson, 79-76—155

Dino Schroder, 83-75—158

Clark Johnson, 85-78—163

Robby Prater, 81-83—164

Briarwood Christian, 321-314—635

Matthew Belling, 74-78—152

Trevor Page, 82-76—158

Michael Belling, 81-80—161

Connor Smith, 88-80—168

Trevor Hightower, 84-85—169

Oak Mountain, 349-334—683

Clay Nolen, 87-79—166

Zac Goozee, 88-78—166

Ben Whitright, 84-90—174

Cody Perry, 94-87—181