E.A. Sports Today

Finishing the job

Hughston comes full circle to win county medalist honors, leads Donoho to its first Calhoun County boys golf title since 2007

The three low medalists in the Calhoun County Boys Tournament (from left): White Plains’ Nathan Griffin (third), Donoho’s Harrison Hughston (first) and Donoho’s Jacob LeCroy (second). (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

EXTRA: Oxford Invitational pairings

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Last year Harrison Hughston came off the final hole of the Calhoun County Tournament at Pine Hill and couldn’t have felt worse. About anything. His game. The tournament. Everything.

When he walked off the final hole of the Calhoun County Tournament at Cider Ridge Saturday he couldn’t have felt any better. He felt like a champion.

HUGHSTON

The Donoho junior shot a final-round 77 to complete a wire-to-wire run to medalist honors and lead the Falcons to their first title in the County Tournament in more than a decade.

It was quite the different result from when he scraped around a non-counting 9 on the playoff hole of last year’s tournament.

Hughston completed 36 holes in 8-over-par 152, three shots clear of Donoho teammate Jacob LeCroy. It helped the Falcons to a round of 319 and a two-day total 629, 16 shots ahead of runner-up and three-time defending champion White Plains.

“It’s redemption, it really is,” Hughston said. “Last year I felt defeated, I felt I underdid myself. I felt like this year I had something to prove.

“I think I proved myself this year. I feel like I redeemed myself, I proved something to people. Last year nobody really thought I had it in me; I wasn’t good enough. But this year I felt like I redeemed myself, I proved myself. It’s awesome.”

The round wasn’t as sharp as the day before – he had no birdies and made a double bogey – but unlike what might have happened as recently as last year stayed in the moment in the times it looked like the day could get away.

“He’s just come so far,” Donoho coach Garrett Burgess said. “He’s a huge piece of this team; without him we wouldn’t be where we are right now. I just can’t say enough good things about him. His work ethic the last year has really paid off and his scores show it. Words can’t express how much he’s grown and gotten better since last year.”

“I’m so happy for Harrison,” LeCroy said. “I’d much rather him win it than absolutely anyone else in the world.”

Hughston’s first career win wasn’t without drama, though. Playing two holes in front of LeCroy he started the day two shots ahead of his teammate, but the margin was only one coming to the last hole.

LeCroy’s final hole was the par-5 18th into a brisk wind. He drove it down the left side but still had a long way to the green and the all-he-could-hit 3-wood found the hazard short and left of the green. He found the ball and thinking he still could get up and down for par played it from the hazard, but his hard 60-degree wedge bounded over the green and into the hazard on the other side of the green.

This time, he had to take a drop, then hit a brilliant 56-degree pitch with his fifth shot that settled inside three feet of the hole. But he missed the putt for bogey and took a double.

During the entirety of the round he found four hazards, made three double bogeys and bogeyed three of the four par-5s.

“It was a disaster,” he said. “I’m glad we won as a team. I’m disappointed I’m not going to win individually, but as a team, that’s all that matters. I’m more happy about that. If we win state as a team I’ll be more happy than anything.”

Hughston, meanwhile, was having a similar adventure on his final hole – No. 2 – but recovered. His 3-iron off the tee drew into the hazard 108 yards from the green. He dropped and landed a 52-degree wedge third shot 17 feet above the hole. Not knowing he had a cushion to play with, he made the putt for par to clinch his first career tournament win.

“I didn’t know for sure what Jacob was doing,” Hughston said. “I hit it in the water and just knew I had to hit a good golf shot. Dad told me just do what you’ve got to do; play your game, it’s good enough to win this. I heard two-putt, but I said no, we didn’t play good today and the team needed me. I needed to make a putt.”

In addition to Hughston’s 77 and LeCroy’s 78, the Falcons counted 82s from Jack Svensen and Holden Abernathy in the final round to claim their first county title since 2007. Still, they lost about half their overnight lead after the first nine holes, so the win wasn’t as satisfying as it could be.

White Plains counted 79s from Nathan Griffin and defending medalist Cameron McCareeth and 81s from Andrew Miller and Wesley Jenkins. Griffin finished third overall. McCareeth made an eight-shot improvement over his opening-round score.

“It’s probably the best thing that could’ve happened,” Burgess said. “I guess they realize come a couple weeks they’re not going to be able to play like this. I think it’s a good eye-opener for them, to get them back to where they want to be and maybe they’ll put in some effort the next couple weeks to try and recoup where they’ve been playing at.

“I think it’s one of those humbling deals that it worked out for the best. It’s good for them to realize we’re going to have to play better to accomplish what we want to do, and that’s win state.”

NOTES: McCareeth’s eight-shot turnaround was impressive, but wasn’t the biggest move of the day. Ohatchee’s Ryan Thacker rebounded from an opening-round 124 with a 99. Alexandria’s Andrew Kilgore bounced back from a 113 with an 89.

White Plains’ Andrew Miller hits a shot off a sidehill lie. Miller finished fourth overall. (Photo by B.J. Franklin) To view a gallery of photos from the round visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

CALHOUN COUNTY BOYS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

Team scores
Donoho 310-319—629
White Plains 325-320—645
Alexandria 358-339—697
Oxford 390-382—772
Pleasant Valley 398-408—806
Ohatchee 449-437—886
Weaver 472-459—931
Jacksonville 491-468—959

Individual scores
y-Harrison Hughston, Donoho 75-77—152
y-Jacob LeCroy, Donoho 77-78—155
y-Nathan Griffin, White Plains 80-79—159
y-Andrew Miller, White Plains 79-81—160
y-Jack Svensen, Donoho 79-82—161
xy-Gage Miller, White Plains 80-84—164
y-Josh Davis, White Plains 81-84—165
xy-Kenny Okins, White Plains 83-83—166
y-Holden Abernathy, Donoho 84-82—166
y-Logan Goble, Alexandria 84-82—166
y-Wesley Jenkins, White Plains 85-81—166
y-Cameron McCareeth, White Plains 87-79—166
y-Jake Munroe, Oxford 84-85—167
y-Buddy Ray, Donoho 79-90—169
y-Hunter Watts, Alexandria 93-82—175
x-Ethan Floyd, Piedmont 93-83—176
Zachary Nichols, Alexandria 86-92—178
x-Jason Howard, Donoho 94-88—182
x-P.J. Sotelo, White Plains 97-86—183
Logan Lewis, Oxford 94-91—185
Ethan Johnson, Pleasant Valley 88-99—187
Brooks Davis, Pleasant Valley 95-92—187
x-Austin Roberts, White Plains 97-90—187
Sage Snow, Alexandria 95-98—193
Nic Boyd, Oxford 95-102—197
Andrew Kilgore, Alexandria 113-89—202
Adam Pritchett, Pleasant Valley 102-106—208
x-Hunter Wert, Oxford 112-98—210
x-Noah Wright, Donoho 110-103—213
Nick Ledbetter, Weaver 112-104—216
Braxton McFall, Jacksonville 116-101—217
Eddie Ferguson, Ohatchee 110-110—220
Ryan Thacker, Ohatchee 124-99—223
Damon Parr, Pleasant Valley 113-111—224
Jack Wert, Oxford 117-107—224
x-Landon Souder, Oxford 121-105—226
Blake Noah, Ohatchee 113-115—228
Ridge Hayden, Oxford 128-106—234
Mason Lee, Weaver 114-122—236
Gabe Tonogan, Weaver 124-113—237
Nick Silvey, Ohatchee 125-113—238
Jud Grass, Jacksonville 114-124—238
Jackson Burrell, Jacksonville 124-115—239
x-Jonah Burson, Weaver 128-111—239
Caleb Allison, Weaver 122-120—242
x-Logan Nelms, Alexandria 130-122—252
x-Kaleb Cargel, Alexandria 138-125—263
Brock Murphy, Weaver 135-129—264
Eren Gaddis, Jacksonville 137-128—265
x-Braxton Tucker, Alexandria 142-127—269
x-Sabian Scott, Anniston 131-141—272
x-Draven Lipscomb, Piedmont 140-139—279
Kolby Battles, Pleasant Valley 145-135—280
x-Tyrone Brock, Anniston 149-144—293
Parker Alexander, Ohatchee 102-NC
x-Playing as individuals
y-All-Tournament team

County champion Harrison Hughston (L), Oxford’s Nic Boyd (C) and 2017 county champion Cameron McCareeth are all in the field for Monday’s Oxford Invitational. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

OXFORD INVITATIONAL

At Cider Ridge GC
Monday’s tee assignments

Hole 1: Tyler Lipscomb, Breman; Blake Batchor, Bob Jones; Jacob LeCroy, Donoho; Barnes Stacey, Gadsden City.
2: Gavin Smedley, Breman; Andre Flores, Bob Jones; Jack Svensen, Donoho; Stacey Dawson, Gadsden City.
3: Dylan Messer, Breman; Scot Reid, Bob Jones; Harrison Hughston, Donoho; Carter Cooper, Gadsden City.
4: Wyatt Underwood, Bremen; Jacob Colson, Bob Jones; Holden Abernathy, Donoho; Seth Perry, Gadsden City.
5: Dru Allen, Breman; Tim Niles, Bob Jones; Buddy Ray, Donoho; Will Partridge, Gadsden City.
6: Andrew Miller, White Plains; Harrison Davis, Fort Payne; Tanner Wilder, Pell City; Ken Goforth, Oak Mountain.
7: Nathan Griffin, White Plains; Dyan Evans, Fort Payne; Houston Russell, Pell City; Jonathan Zaleski, Oak Mountain.
8: Cameron McCareeth, White Plains; Jack Barker, Fort Payne; Andrew Burnham, Pell City; Chris Brignet, Oak Mountain.
9: Josh Davis, White Plains; Brady Moses, Fort Payne; Austin Burnham, Pell City; Luke Lyda, Oak Mountain.
10: Wesley Jenkins, White Plains; Sebastian Burt, Fort Payne; TBA, Pell City; Pierce Brunner, Oak Mountain.
11: P.J. Sotelo, White Plains; Jake Munroe, Oxford; Cole Contris, Hokes Bluff; Mark Sawyer, Cedar Bluff.
12: Gage Miller, White Plains; Logan Lewis, Oxford; Mathew Jones, Hokes Bluff; Nick Sawyer, Cedar Bluff.
13: Kenny Okins, White Plains; Nic Boyd, Oxford; Josh Jones, Hokes Bluff; Ridge Hayden, Oxford.
14: Austin Roberts, White Plains; Jack Wert, Oxford; Tucker Marsh, Hokes Bluff; Gage Driskell, Breman.
15: Malakhi Gilbert, White Plains; Landen Souder, Oxford; Kason Moore, Hokes Bluff; John Wade, Oxford.
16: Davis Brown, Gadsden City; Jason Howard, Donoho; Hunter Wert, Oxford.

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