Golf punches ticket to state tourney

by Sean Dunlap

BILOXI — For Franklin County High School’s golf team, it was mission accomplished at the Class 3A District 7 links tournament played at Sunkist Country Club on Monday, April 11.

Coming into last week’s event, FC golfers understood it would be necessary to score a collective 360 or better to advance to state-level competition.
In the end, the squad finished with a 355 to earn the chance to advance to the 3A state title competition at Riverbirch Country Club in Amory next month.

“I’m so proud of the guys for grinding on every shot,” FCHS Golf Coach Jeff Long said following the district playoff.

“There were periods of light rain and wind and our guys were playing on an unfamiliar course with difficult greens.

“Still, these guys fought through the conditions and are now headed to state.”

Kolby Cox, in pacing Franklin County’s effort, was 1 over on the front nine, but ran into some difficulties on the back nine. He still finished with a team-best individual score of 83.

Tim Hutto began his day with a birdie on the par 4 first hole and wound up with a 90, and Jack Hutto turned in a 98.

“We needed one more golfer to come in with an 89 or better to advance to state, and Kyle Walker’s career low round of 84 was the clincher,” Long added. “Kyle has worked hard and improved tremendously.”

In addition, the team saw members Preston and Parker Cupit record solid finishes of 101 and 112, respectively.

Overall, FC finished fourth behind Saint Patrick, who claimed first with a 322 team finish; Saint Stanislaus, who was second with a 336; and Wesson, who wound up third with a 349.

Saint Patrick was led by Will Nolte and Collin McPherson, who both shared in shooting a course-low 78.

Will Loy finished with an 81 for Wesson while Mitchell Thompson paced Saint Stanislaus with an 82.

“The boys and I are excited about the opportunity to compete for a state title against the best golfers in Class 3A on May 2 and 3,” Long added.

“This is a young team and this will be a great experience for them.”

Long said the plan is for he and his players to travel to Amory on Sunday, May 1 for a practice round before taking part in the two-day, two-rounds competition.

With state now just days away, the coach noted his team will be seeking support from the community to help offset the cost of the trip.

Those interested in assisting financially are encouraged to contact Franklin County High School at 601-384-2965.