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Statesboro Golf in the mix at state championships
SHS golf
Statesboro's Mason Kleinlein tees off on the fourth hole of the Plantera Ridge Golf Club Monday in the state golf championships. Kleinlein shot a 3-over par 75. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

PEACHTREE CITY —The Statesboro Blue Devil boys golf team was in a familiar spot for much of the first day of competition at the Class AAAAA golf tournament in Peachtree City. The Blue Devils were in second place throughout the early hours of play, but stumbled late and wound up in sixth place after the first 18 holes of competition on Monday at Plantera Ridge Golf Club in Peachtree City.

“We gave away tons and tons of shots out there today,” said Statesboro coach David Elmore. “We had lots of double bogeys down the stretch, and some bad mental lapses.”

The Devils were scheduled to play an early afternoon practice round on Sunday, but were pushed back until after 4 p.m. An early evening rain storm ended the round after about 11 holes, putting a damper on getting to know the course.

“I definitely feel not getting in all the holes during our practice round hurt us,” Elmore said. “It’s no excuse for the score that we shot today, but being able to hit the tee shots on the seven or eight holes we missed, and how the greens played, would have changed our approach on a couple holes.”

Mason Kleinlein led the way individually for the Blue Devils, firing a 3-over  par 75 and is tied for 15th place individually. Starr's Mill leads the team competition after the first day, sitting at an 8-over 297. McIntosh is second at 302, and Ola is third at 303. Statesboro is 19 strokes back at 316.

“I feel like the goal now is to go out and try and shoot something under 300,” Elmore said. “I feel like the kids may try to press in order to get that score, but we are going to spend some time tonight talking about that, and putting a strategy together.”

The boys Class AAAAA tournament is being held at Planterra Ridge Golf Club. The Blue Devils tee off at 8:00 am. Rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday.

Lady Devils sit in sixth

The Statesboro girls needed an at large berth in order to make the state playoffs. Through one day they were able to show they belonged, as they finished their first day of competition in sixth place.

“We are in good positive spirits after the first day of competition,” sai Statesboro coach Glenn Bailey. “There are 159 bunkers, and quite a few ponds which makes this a pretty difficult course. Overall the girls seem pretty upbeat, and ready to improve tomorrow.”

The Blue Devils were led by Brooke Bennett who fired a 92 which was good for a tie for 16th place individually. 

“Brooke seemed to have it going today,” Bailey said. “She has had a few good nine holes here and there, but this time she was consistent and really helped lead the team.”

The team competition is really a two team race at this point. The host team, Starr's Mill, is at +22 while Veterans finished day one at +37. Third place South Effingham is 44 strokes back. The Blue Devils are in sixth place, but only 10 shots back of third place.

“I think a realistic goal would be to get to within the top three,” Bailey said. “Cracking the top 2 would be nearly impossible at this point, but I feel if we can get a couple good rounds in tomorrow we can jump a few teams for sure.”

The Statesboro girls are playing at Braelinn Golf Club, and are scheduled to tee off at 8:00 am. Rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Peachtree City all day Tuesday.