“Last year we had Cole McNeil and T.K. Waugh,” Oxford coach Darryl Cline said. “Alexandria and Oxford again in the playoffs.”
While Waugh and Oxford had the upper hand last year, Chandler shot par on the 18th hole to clinch the lowest score of the tournament. Allen bogeyed the hole.
“Dalton is a really smart kid who works really hard,” Alexandria coach Brenard Howard said. “He doesn’t always pay attention, but his dad’s a good golfer and he plays a lot with his dad. They’re pretty competitive and I’d probably have to credit everything to his dad and them playing a lot.”
Oxford put an incredible team round together, shooting a 299 on the day and 604 overall to sit well out of reach from anyone at the end of the tournament. White Plains finished in second with a team score of 648, followed by Alexandria (667), Donoho (683), Jacksonville (705), Piedmont (705), Pleasant Valley (736), Saks (772), Sacred Heard (787) and Anniston (871).
“We shot a great round today,” Cline said. “We were just trying to get four guys in the 70s, which gets you on the leaderboard on the first day. Then they came back today and played even better. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the latter part of the year.”
All five members of Oxford’s team shot in the 70s with a 77 dropped from its score. Cline attributed the improvements from Friday to the course being in better condition on the second day following Thursday afternoon’s severe weather.
The tournament win came just weeks after Cline said the Yellow Jackets didn’t play well due to the cold temperatures.
“We didn’t know how we’d come into this tournament,” he said. “But this is a home course for a lot of these kids and everyone in this tournament today has probably had multiple rounds at Pine Hill. Knowing the course helps those scores come down, but you have to hit the ball well, too.”
Another focal point of the tournament was on Howard, who is retiring at the end of the season from Alexandria. He was one of the minds that put the county tournament together more than a decade ago.
“It was really Jenny Costner’s idea,” he said. “There were a lot of great golfers in the county at that time and the only time they would play in a tournament together was if you made it to the sectionals.
“It’s been really great. To be out of school for these kids this time of year, a lot of them are really good students so they deserve it.”
Calhoun County Superintendent Joe Dyar was also recognized for his help in expanding the county golf tournament from the 40-player, two-day invitational it was back in 2001 to the 125-player, four-day tournament — between boys and girls — it is now.
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.