The annual Bulloch County Championship was held Wednesday afternoon at the Georgia Southern University golf course. Low medalist honors went to Bulloch Academy’s Griffin Garvin and Portal’s Shelby Clark. The Statesboro High boys won the team title, while Portal and Southeast Bulloch tied for the girls' team championship.
Last year Garvin had a chance to win the Bulloch County golf championship individual title. In a playoff with Will Nelson from Southeast Bulloch Griffin hit the par-5 ninth hole with his second shot, but struggled from there eventually losing by a stroke after a bogey. This year Garvin didn’t even let things get close as he fired a round of 3-under 33 in winning low medalist by seven strokes over the rest of the field.
“I was hitting the ball well all day and I knew if I took one shot at a time and played as well as I could I would give myself a chance,” said Garvin. “I felt like if I could get off to a good start that would help my confidence so coming through with an eagle on the first hole really helped me.”
Coach and father Walt Garvin was proud of Griffin for overcoming last year’s disappointment with an impressive round Wednesday.
“I feel like he really wanted to come out here after last year and show people what he was capable of,” said Garvin. “He drove the ball pretty well, but the work he has put in with his short game really paid off today as that was his biggest strength.”
For the boys' team title, the Statesboro Blue Devils pulled out the victory thanks to balanced scoring with a team total of 165. Bulloch Academy and Southeast Bulloch tied for second with rounds of 169. Drew Prosser paced the Blue Devils with a round of 40 while Evan Avret and Gage Landing both shot 41 and Ethan Hiers fired a 43.
“We have had some better individual scores, but this is the best we have played as a team,” said SHS coach Michael Edwards. “I knew we had the potential to do well as a team if we could just put it together. We host the area tournament at Forest Heights coming up and this is a great way to gain some momentum as it gets closer.”
Southeast Bulloch was paced by Trey Anderson with a 41 while Hunter Thompson posted a 42. The Portal boys’ low round was turned in by Corey Stuckey with a 52.
On the girl's side they may want to change name the individual title after Portal’s Shelby Clark who has now won three years in a row. She didn’t get a chance to make it four because the event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID concerns.
“It is really cool to have won these three straight years,” said Clark who shot a 44 Wednesday. “I definitely didn’t have my best out here today so that was a little frustrating. There is still time to pick myself up and get things straightened out for area and hopefully state.”
“Shelby is sometimes her worst critic but I think she played well today,” said coach Joe Bettinger. “The greens were really fast and there were some tough pin placements. I think it says a lot that she has won these three years in a row and we are so proud of her and the work she puts in to getting better.”
The Southeast Bulloch girls were coming off an impressive team victory in Waynesboro in a 10-team field at the Taylor Made Invitational. Coach Randy Lee feels Wednesday wasn’t their best effort, and knows his youthful team is capable of much more.
“We were coming off such an impressive win and just didn’t have it for whatever reason today,” said Lee. “We have a lot of young girls on the team and sometimes they play above their ages and sometimes you remember they are still freshmen and sophomores for the most part. We will be hosting our area tournament here next month and I hope we can improve from this and be ready for some good competition.”
The low round for Southeast Bulloch was Haley Hammett with a 51. Meri Pate Tedders led Statesboro with a 54.