As Commerce boys’ golf coach Matthew Lund put it, no parades are thrown for sixth-place finishes. But the Tigers are proud of theirs.
Commerce shot a two-day, 36-hole score of 749 at the Class A-Public state tournament held at Reynolds Lake Oconee last Monday and Tuesday (May 17-18) to place sixth out of 12 teams.
“Sixth was a very good finish for us,” Lund said. “The teams that were above us, were pretty much above us pretty much all season to begin the season.”
Entering the state tournament, Commerce had posted the sixth-best qualifying score of all the teams in the field.
“What I really liked was that we didn’t go down there and falter,” Lund said. “We beat the teams that we were supposed to beat … We had the biggest improvement of all the teams on the second day.”
Commerce posted a first-day round of 386, before improving by 23 strokes on the second day with a team round of 363. Lund said his group made second-round corrections that others didn’t.
“I credit the boys 100 precent for keeping their cool the second day,” Lund said. “All of them knew exactly what they did wrong the first day.”
Henry Sharpton led Commerce with a two-day total of 165 (87-78), lowering his score by nine strokes on the second day. Sharpton finished in a three-way tie for 12th place on the individual leaderboard.
Landon Worley posted a two-day sore of 187 (98-89), also shaving nine strokes off his score on the second day.
Levi Pritchett shot an opening-round 106 that didn’t count in the team tally but finished inside the Tigers’ top four with a 97 on the second day. He compiled a two-day score of 203.
Jordan Pritchett shot 205 over the two days (106-99), with both his scores counting toward the Tigers’ team score.
Lane Rumbaugh scored in the Tigers’ top four with an opening-round 95 before shooting a 115 on the second day that didn’t count toward the team tally. He finished with a two-day total of 210.
Commerce’s area opponent, Lake Oconee Academy, won the state title by 40 strokes over second-place Metter with a two-day total of 608.
Commerce finished in sixth place by 30 strokes over seventh-place Gordon Lee.
“I was very happy with this group overall on how they grinded and how mentally prepared they were for that second day,” Lund said.
Lund said his team “really showed me something” last Tuesday.
“I have not been that proud of this group until (last Tuesday),” he said.
The coach noted the length of the National Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee — a professional course with challenging holes — as well as the 36-hole format of the tournament.
“That’s the big thing,” Lund said. “That’s why we try to get these kids in as many as these tournaments as we can. The struggle is real. It is a lot of walking. It is a grind. Everybody thinks that golf is an easy sport … There’s way more that goes into it than people think.”
Lund called the National Course likely “the toughest one everybody in that tournament played this year.”
Looking ahead to next year, the Tigers will return their top two players, Sharpton and Worley, along with Rumbaugh and Wesley Bowen.
Lund praised the contributions of graduating seniors Seagraves and Pritchett.
“They were a huge help,” he said. “They saved our season.”