E.A. Sports Today

State golf

White Plains’ Edwards first in Class 4A, Weaver’s Ledbetter second in 3A after Monday’s first round at RTJ-Grand National

By East Alabama Sports Today

OPELIKA — White Plains’ Sawyer Edwards shot a 1-under-par 71 to lead the boys’ Class 4A field, and Weaver’s Nick Ledbetter shot a 7-over 79 to hold second place in boys’ Class 3A after Monday’s first round of the AHSAA state golf tournament.

The tournament concludes Tuesday at RTJ-Grand National.

Edwards leads Haleyville’s Hudson Lawson by two strokes. White Plains finished second to Haleyville at sub-state, but Edwards was low medalist.

On Monday, Edwards recorded birdies on Nos. 5, 7, 10, 17 and 18 to offset four bogeys. He shot 35 on the front nine and 36 on the back.

“Sawyer was steady all day,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “That’s a tough course, so to go birdie-birdie and get to 1 under in the clubhouse, that was good golf out of Sawyer.”

Edwards has a chance to become White Plains’ first-ever outright individual champion. Layton Bussey tied for low medalist in 2016, and there was no playoff. Kenny Okins too the lead on No. 10 in the final round in 2021, but inclement weather ended the round, forcing scores to revert to the last completed nine holes.

Ledbetter, the 3A runner up a year ago, is four strokes back of Westbrook Christian’s Eli Edge. Ledbetter had one birdie, on No. 7, but six bogeys and one double.

“I played really solid for the first half of the day and was even on the front nine, and then I just kind of lost focus and didn’t ever recover focus and shot 79,” Ledbetter said. “Four shots off the lead going into tomorrow, and if I can hit the ball the way I did today, I believe I can win it.”

In team competition, White Plains’ boys are second to defending state champion Haleyville, eight strokes back. The Wildcats got 81 from Wyatt Cotney and Cam Hurst, who are tied for 10th. and an 84 from Zach Goss.

White Plains won the team title in 2021, and a strong finish Monday put the Wildcats in a better spot to rally Tuesday.

“I felt like maybe we got a little too aggressive on the back nine and tried to force a few things from the early guys, but Sawyer was so clutch,” Randall said. “He birdied the last two holes to get us inside of 10 (shots).

“I don’t know what it is, but that number, when it’s single digits, it just changes things.”

Alexandria’s girls are fourth in 4A-5A at 275, 33 strokes behind leader Trinity. Avery Prickett led the Valley Cubs at 88 and stands tied for 12th.

Piedmont’s girls are fourth in Class 1A-3A at 343, 119 strokes behind leader Tuscaloosa Academy. Brookelyn Goss led the Bulldogs at 106 and stands tied for 13th.

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