Eastside golfers finish disappointing 13th at state

WAYNESBORO - It was a bad finish to a great season for the Eastside boys golf team after finishing 19 strokes behind Class AAA state champion Burke County at Waynesboro Country Club on Monday.

Eastside's team score of 323 put them in 13th place, a big disappointment after finishing seventh in last year's Class AAAA state tournament with a team score of 317.

"It's the game of golf. You can have good days, you can have bad days," Eastside coach Jay Cawthon said.

"We had a couple of bad holes and it just carried over. It was just a bad day for us. I'm still proud of them. They had a great year and everybody's coming back."

The Eagles had three players post a score of 80 - Tate Miller, J.T. Blaker and Ace Cook - with Taylor Lazenby posting the other scoring number shooting an 83.

Also playing were Nick Green (84) and Justin Norris (no score).

Blaker had eight straight pars to start the front nine before making a triple bogey on the ninth hole. The returning junior finished with 13 pars for his round.

Miller, also a returning junior, who ended the regular season with an 18-hole average of 73, was at 7-over par through 16 holes before getting a bogey in his final two holes.

"We have to learn not to carry a bad shot to the next hole. We've been having that problem all year," Cawthon said. "From a physical standpoint we're OK. But our mental game is what we have to work on from here to next year. If you have a bad hole or a bad shot, you have to let it go, you can't carry it over. That's what we have to learn as a team."

Woodward Academy was runner-up with a 305, one shot off the pace set by the state champion Bears.

Elbert County, who Eastside beat in the Region 8-AAA tournament by two stokes, and LaFayette tied for third place with a 307, while Columbus and Spalding finished tied for fifth shooting a 308.

Tied for Class AAA low medalist, with a 3-under par 72, were Spalding's Henry Mabbett and LaFayette's P.J. Shield.

Posting the winning score for the state champions were John Keller (72), Evans Horton (72), Josh Phillips (78) and Patrick Mobley (82).

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.