By Blake Ells
Mountain Brook shot a 13-under 275 in round two of the 80th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Golf Championships to finish 32 strokes under par with a team total 544, securing their second consecutive Class 7A boys title over rival Spain Park.
The Jaguars were the last school not named Mountain Brook to win the title – with that championship coming in 2016. The RTJ’s Shoals Golf Club hosted this year’s tournament.
Spain Park finished 20 strokes back on the tournament with a 280-284-564 total. McGill-Toolen Catholic was third at 584 and Auburn finished fourth with 587.
Just one senior was on this year’s Mountain Brook team, Ford Clegg. At state, he shot a 73 on day one and a 76 on day two, scores that weren’t needed in the team’s total.
“Everyone played to the best of their ability,” said Clegg. “We set the record for lowest one day total ever. I didn’t play that bad, and they didn’t even need my scores, which speaks to how well everyone else played.
The Spartans fell to the Jaguars at the Bradley Johnson Memorial in March, a tournament hosted by the Jaguars at Greystone Golf and Country Club. It was a tournament that Mountain Brook had won a year ago, and an eye-opening experience that propelled the Spartans to better play for the remainder of 2018.
“It sparked us to start playing better,” Clegg said. “I guess coming into the season, we thought it was going to be super easy to win every tournament. Last year, we only lost one tournament, and we won the rest of the tournaments that we played in by a significant margin. Once Spain Park beat us in their home tournament, we kicked it into another gear and got ready for state.”
William Wann and Gordon Sargent tied the state record for lowest 36-hole score, with Sargent, a freshman, shooting a 64 on day one and a 69 on day two. The junior, Wann, shot a 67 on day one and a 66 on day two. The 133 was a mark previously achieved only by Spain Park’s Patrick Martin and Straughn’s Brooks Rabren at the 2015 state tourney and St. Paul’s Robby Shelton at the 2013 championships.
The rest of the scoring that led the Spartans to their third state championship in four years was junior Reynolds Lambert (67-70-137) and sophomore Mac Scott (71-70-141).
Spain Park’s Ethan Hagood was two shots back of the leaders with a 67-68-135 total.
This was the seventh boys state championship for Mountain Brook in school history. Clegg, who will join Mississippi State’s golf team in August, was part of three of those teams.
In the 6A boys state championship, Homewood finished second to Muscle Shoals, just six strokes behind at 298-289-587. The Patriots’ Jack Goldasich finished second individ- ually with a 68 Tuesday and 139 total.
At the 5A state championship, Briarwood Christian finished third with 627 behind St. Paul’s Episcopal and Russellville.
In the 7A girls state golf championship, Hoover finished second to Auburn, just one stroke back. Spain Park was third at 469. The Jaguars’ Caroline Waldrop had a 3-under 69 to finish with a 1-under 143 total, securing the individual low score, while Hoover’s Carron McKie shot a 73 on the final round, finishing with a 144 and tying for second.
Homewood finished fourth in the 6A girls state championship behind Muscle Shoals, Hartselle and Oxford. ❖