Spain Park wins Bradley Johnson Memorial championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOOVER – Spain Park’s boys golf team was back in the winner’s circle on Tuesday, March 12, as they brought home the 12th annual Bradley Johnson Memorial golf tournament championship, which is considered one of the most elite and prestigious golf tournaments around.

The tournament was started in 2007 after former Spain Park golfer Bradley Johnson was tragically killed in an automobile accident.

Parents Hugh and Shari Johnson immediately sought a way to honor their son’s legacy and came across this golf tournament, which has been hosted by the Jags at Greystone Golf and Country Club each of the last 12 years.

Two area teams, Spain Park and Briarwood, and several of the state’s best teams competed at the two-day event from March 12-13, but it came down to the wire between the Jags and Mountain Brook as to which team would take home the title.

Trailing the Spartans by nine shots entering the second and final day of the competition, Spain Park turned up the heat on Tuesday as four of the five players shot not just in the 70s, but two-over or better.

Improvements included Ethan Hagood going from a round of 80 to 73, Nick Dunlap from a round of 75 to 69, Matt Stuart going from a round of 83 to 74 and Carter Goodwin going from a round of 79 to 72.

Landon Carner was the only player to not improve his score as he shot a 78 in round one and an 80 in round two, but his total score was very important to the team total of 600.

That two-day total of 600 not only brought the Jags back into contention, but allowed them to erase that nine-stroke deficit to take down Mountain Brook by four strokes for Spain Park’s second championship win of the season through four events.

Spain Park’s saw their stroke total improve by an average of 5.8 strokes per golfer during the second round to bring home the title.

Dunlap finished the tournament with an aggregate total of 144, which equated to a two-day total of even par after the three-over round on Monday and a three-under round on Tuesday.

His impressive play put him one stroke off of the low-medalist total set by Vestavia Hills’ Austin Coggin. He finished in a tie with St. Paul’s Will McFadden, but was four shots ahead of the next closest golfer.

Goodwin gave the Jags two top-10 golfers with his aggregate total of seven-over par, while Hagood just missed out on the top 10 with an 11th-place finish with his two-day total of nine-over par.

Stuart finished in a tie for 21st, while Carner took home a tie for 26th to put every Spain Park golfer inside the top 30 out of 73 finishers.

As a team, Briarwood finished in 12th with Slade McCraw finishing in a tie for 11th with Hagood thanks to rounds of six-over 78 and three-over 75.