• Murray County’s Dylan Hubbard had never played the back nine at Fields Ferry in Calhoun.
Apparently, unfamiliarity with the course wasn’t a problem.
Hubbard shot a 44 on the back as part of a 17-over-par 89 in the Region 7-2A boys tournament and earned a spot in the Class 2A state tournament. Hubbard will go to state because he had the lowest score among players not on a qualifying team.
Armuchee shot a 334 to earn the team championship with Calhoun a stroke behind. Armuchee advances to the state tournament on May 20 at Rocky Creek Golf Course in Vidalia. Calhoun and Dade County — which finished with a 346 — will play in the Class 2A sectional tournament May 6 at Blueberry Plantation in Alma, where they’ll have the chance to earn a spot at state.
The state tournament field will have 16 teams, and the number of teams advancing out of the sectional tournament will vary depending on how many region champions meet the qualifying score. At least eight teams will advance from the sectional tournament.
Murray County was fourth in the region with a 385, going over the Class 2A sectional qualifying mark of 350. But Hubbard is headed straight for state after finishing eighth individually, and the trip will be a completely new experience for him.
“I don’t even know where Vidalia is,” Hubbard said. “The farthest south I have ever been to play golf is probably Fields Ferry.”
While the Indians have played matches at Fields Ferry in the past, Hubbard said all of those had been nine-hole contests. This was his first time on the back nine, and he was a stroke better coming in than he was going out.
“I didn’t drive as well as I usually do, but I hit my irons a lot better than usual,” Hubbard said. “I was just trying to hit it straight. I played in a group I was comfortable with, and I play a little better when I am relaxed like that. It was a lot slower on the greens than I expected after the rains (Wednesday night). I just tried to hit relaxed shots and not try to overhit anything.”
Hubbard said playing in the same foursome with teammate Brady Todd helped.
Hubbard was joined in contributing to the team score by Jake Ice (91), Todd (102) and Ethan Wright (103).