MANCHESTER — Hendersonville High’s boys golf team has been a staple at the Class AAA State Tournament in recent years.
But for the second straight year, the Commandos were unable to claim the team title, finishing third on Wednesday at WillowBrook Golf Club.
Hendersonville finished 13 strokes behind Brentwood, which won its first state title by one stroke over Farragut.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to Brentwood,” Commando senior Austin Lancaster said. “They just played better golf than us.”
The Commandos shot three strokes better as a team on Wednesday, despite wind and intermittent light rain. Play was halted for nearly two hours on Tuesday due to inclement weather.
“Today was not a day that you were going to go low with this weather,” Hendersonville head coach Andy Gilley said. “Honestly, we played the back nine better than we’ve ever played it as a team. I think we were 6-over as a team on the back nine, and that’s hard to do.”
The Commandos were unsuccessful in claiming an individual state championship for the third consecutive year, as sophomore Bryce Lewis posted Hendersonville’s best finish with a tie for 18th place.
Station Camp senior Jordan Powell posted the best finish of Sumner County players, finishing in a three-way tie for sixth place – the best finish for any Bison individual in school history.
And he nearly missed making the state tournament completely, needing to survive a playoff to advance out of the Region 5-AAA Tournament.
“Going into regions and just barely making it through a playoff, I wasn’t feeling too confident,” Powell said. “But I made it.”
Powell opened with a 1-over par 73, and climbed the leaderboard on Wednesday with a 2-under-par 70.
“Yesterday was pretty steady,” Powell said. “When we had the (weather delay), I saw (Sevier County junior Spencer Cross) was 4-under through seven. That was pretty solid, so I knew I needed to make up some ground. I was even going to 17 and three-jacked the last hole, but it was a little motivation for today.”
Station Camp senior Sydney Koch finished tied for 32nd in her second consecutive appearance at the state tournament. Things started off well for her on Tuesday, as she recorded eight consecutive pars after beginning on hole No. 10 on Tuesday, making the turn at 1-over par. But her second nine wasn’t as friendly, and she finished with a 15-over par 87.
“I was feeling really good (after the front nine),” Koch said. “(The second nine) was rough.”
Hendersonville senior Meghann Stamps shot 83 on Tuesday with one birdie. She finished her high-school career with another 83 on Wednesday.
“This hasn’t been the best tournament for me,” Stamps said. “Yesterday, my putts were working really well, and today, my chips did a 180 (from Tuesday). Those two things really helped me along.”
It was her third consecutive appearance at the state tournament.
“High school golf is a big part of my life that I’m not going to get to do over again,” Stamps said. “It does mean a lot that I got to be at state my senior year.”
The Commandos were within four strokes on Tuesday before fading late in the day, trailing by nine shots after the opening 18 holes. Lancaster tied for 30th place, shooting 78 on Tuesday and 74 on Wednesday.
“I feel like we needed to go under par as a team,” Lancaster said. “Our team could have done that, but we just didn’t do that today.”
Lewis had a mostly consistent opening round, with one birdie and 15 pars, finishing with a 2-over-par 74. He opened Wednesday’s round with birdies at the opening hole and at the par-4 fourth hole.
“Our goal is to win,” Gilley said. “But I think this might have been a year where people in our region and our district thought they had a shot at us. We were playing two freshmen most of the time. We had two people play at the state tournament for the first time ever – Jay and Hudson, they’ve never played in it.”
Senior Charles Seals was among the leaders through most of Tuesday’s opening round, but a double bogey at the par-5 12th hole began his backslide, and he finished with a 2-over-par 74.
“I thought if all of us could post a decent number (on Wednesday), we could definitely be more in the mix than we ended up being,” Seals said. “(Brentwood) played really well.”
Commando freshman Hudson Jones shot 76 on Tuesday, with his lone birdie coming at the par-4 18th hole, and shot 78 on Wednesday to finish in a tie for 36th. Junior Jay Welch finished in a tie for 56th.
“We didn’t make a putt all week, not of any consequence,” Gilley said. “I did not see us make one birdie putt outside of 10 feet out of the holes I watched.”
Cross’ two-day score of 134 was tied for the third-best in state tournament history.
Houston won the girls’ team championship, defeating Dobyns-Bennett by nine strokes. Houston freshman Jayna Choi won the individual title by two strokes over Brighton junior Aubree Jones.
Reach Chris Brooks at 615-575-7118 or on Twitter @CB_SummerSports.
Class AAA State Tournament
Brentwood 588, Farragut 589, Hendersonville 601, Science Hill 619, Walker Valley 623, Houston 624, Tullahoma 624, Arlington 678
Place Golfer, School Round 1-Round 2-Total
1 Spencer Cross, Sevier County 66-68-134
2 William Nottingham, Dobyns Bennett 70-68-138
3 Hunter Wolcott, Dickson County 74-65-139
4 (tie) Dylan Lillard, Walker Valley 69-72-141
4 (tie) Chase Kephart, Ravenwood 69-72-141
6 (tie) Jack Rhea, Science Hill 71-72-143
6 (tie) Chip Thomas, Farragut 71-72-143
6 (tie) Jordan Powell, Station Camp 73-70-143
18 (tie) Bryce Lewis, Hendersonville 74-72-146
24 (tie) Charles Seals, Hendersonville 74-75-149
30 (tie) Austin Lancaster, Hendersonville 78-74-152
36 (tie) Hudson Jones, Hendersonville 76-78-154
56 (tie) Jay Welch, Hendersonville 84-81-165
Houston 290, Dobyns-Bennett 299, Farragut 309, Coffee County 315, Clarksville 318, Brighton 332, Brentwood 333, Warren County 349
1 Jayna Choi, Houston 76-64-140
2 Aubree Jones, Brighton 71-71-142
3 (tie) Malia Stovall, Franklin County 73-71-144
3 (tie) Caroline Caudill, Rossview 73-71-144
5 Haverly Harrold, Dobyns-Bennett 75-71-146
27 (tie) Meghann Stamps, Hendersonville 83-83-166
32 (tie) Sydney Koch, Station Camp 87-84-171