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Murphy gets low medalist in region tournament, boys team advances to state

Eastside girls golf team finish runnerup, qualify for Class AAAA sectional

The Eastside boys golf team achieved another one of their goals by winning the Region 8-AAAA tournament and making it back to the Class AAAA state tournament. The girls have one more step before making it to the state tournament after finishing the region tournament in second place.

After shooting a three-over par 40 on the front nine at Highland Walk Golf Course in Royston, Eastside’s Quin Murphy came back to shoot a one-under par 34 on the back nine to become the region low medalist for the second year in a row.

The next lowest score of Stephens County’s Dylan Hamilton with an 81.

“It was a real hard course. It was windy and it was cold,” Eastside boys coach Jay Cawthon said. “We’ve only played it one other time since last year and it’s basically their (Stephens County) home course. If you put on top of that the way the day was, windy and cold, it was very impressive. Everybody is still talking about it.”

Eastside qualified for to go to the state tournament with the highest score possible shooting a 350. A score of 351 or higher would have meant that the team would’ve have had to go to sectional to qualify for state.

“We were waiting for our fifth man, Ryan Dial, to come in. He needed a 93, we were sitting at 351,” Cawthon said. “I was proud of him for coming in and giving us that 93. Now there’s no pressure at state. It’s go and have fun and do the best you can do. At sectional there would’ve been a whole lot more pressure.”

Joining Dial and Murphy is scoring for Eastside were Matt Mitchell (91) and Tyler Dysart (92). Playing but not scoring were Jack Mitchell (94) and Jed Parker (109).

“I was real proud of the guys and happy for my five seniors to be able to go back to state,” Cawthon said. “It’s been 2010 since we won region, we’ve had three runnerup’s but last year we came in third. That was big, I real proud of them. That was huge.”

While the boys made it straight to the state tournament, the Eastside girls have more more step before advancing to their way to state after finishing second in the region tournament at Double Oaks Golf Course in Commerce.

The Eastside girls were led by Alexis Allen, who had the fourth best score in the tournament with a 94, followed by Autumn Whiten (99) and Brittany Medlin (110).

“I don’t even know what to say about that,” Eastside girls coach Judy Smith said of Allen. “We were so happy for her. She has been improving steadily all year long and seems to be peaking at the right time.”

Playing but not scoring with a round of 111 was Taylor Maddox.

The girls team finished with a team score of 303. Winning region was Madison County with a team score of 288.

“This is a building year, we don’t even have any seniors,” Smith said. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to play our way to state.”

Taking region low medalist with a score of 86 was Walnut Grove freshman Abigail Coker.

Seven of the eight region teams had a qualifying score but only the top four teams advance to the next round. Madison County will head straight to state while Eastside, along with third place Stephens County (312) and fourth place Johnson (312) will play their sectional at Bull Creek Golf Course-East in Columbus.