Thursday, May 17, 2012
Pritchett takes third in state
Marshall Academy’s Zack Pritchett, going into the North State Golf Tournament trying to make it three titles in a row, came up one stroke shy.
Pritchett’s 13 pars, four birdies and one bogey were not enough to regain his North crown for a third straight time.
“This was one of the best high school tournaments I have ever seen on this level,” said Clay Pritchett, his father and coach.
The golfer from Manchester Academy jumped out front from the first hole to the 11th hole and was 5 under par, which made Pritchett and the golfer from Leake Academy concentrating over every shot. But by the time they all teed off on the 18th hole, it was a three-way tie with all golfers sitting at 4 under.
Pritchett teed off first and his ball went down the right side of the fairway, hitting something and bouncing into the woods about two feet. He got it out, hitting his third shot within 10 feet, but failed to convert his par putt. He missed it just at the top of the hole. The Manchester golfer bogeyed and the Leake golfer parred, winning the tournament with a 68.
Pritchett and the Manchester golfer were tied at 69, which put them in a playoff for second place. Pritchett parred the first hole of the playoff while the Manchester golfer bogeyed, leaving Pritchett at 69 and missing the title by one stroke.
“When you lose and shoot a 69 it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Pritchett said. “I will take that score any day.”
Going into the State Tournament, Pritchett knew it was going to be tough playing at Brookhaven Country Club.
“It’s always tough when you play on somebody else’s home course,” his dad said, “and this was Brookhaven Academy’s home course.”
“As a coach and parent, I disagree with whoever makes these decisions and I think that these type of championships should be played on neutral courses.”
Pritchett had never seen this course before so he just got his bag and started his round and by the end of nine holes, he was 2 over but at one time he was 5 over. Playing on a par 70 course, he finished with a 73 and once again tied with two other golfers.
Going into another playoff, they all parred the first hole, but going to the second playoff hole, Pritchett hit his second shot within three feet and scored a birdie, taking third place in the state tournament.
He said that this was one of the worst courses on which to play a state championship. He said it was in terrible condition.
“We work hard to make it to the state tournament and then make us play a state championship on a course like this, when there are a lot better courses in Mississippi, doesn’t make sense at all,” Pritchett said.
The MA junior had a good year, never scoring over 74, winning three out of four tournaments and finishing second in north half and third in state.
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