By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
BELDEN – Tupelo golf coach Mark Enis didn’t blink Wednesday when he saw Miles Johnson posted the lowest score.
Johnson, a junior, shot a 2-over-par 38 to lead the Golden Wave to a six-stroke victory – 161 to 167 – against Corinth on a cold, windy afternoon at the Tupelo Country Club.
Tupelo’s “B” team was third with a 175.
“Miles has worked really hard on his game,” Enis said. “Two-over-par is not bad at all. That was a great score in these conditions.”
Johnson, who missed a lot of last season’s Class 6A state championship run with a broken ankle, has played his way into the five-man Golden Wave lineup this spring.
He played in the team’s No. 4 spot against Corinth.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I wanted to, but I was making my short putts, five feet and in,” Johnson said. “I’ll take that any day. You always want to putt as well as you can.”
Johnson’s lone birdie came on a chip-in on No. 6. He also recorded three bogeys.
“I’ve averaged 38 in qualifying, so I’ll take that,” he said. “I was happy with a 38 on a day like today. Hopefully, I can improve.”
Wave sophomore Blake Harris, who is recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in August, recorded a 40. Austin Rose scored 41 and Hayden Buckley 42. Both players are juniors. Daniel Purnell’s 44 rounded out the THS scoring.
“The players hit the ball well, they just had one bad hole,” Enis said. “I told them they have to be able to fight through the (weather) conditions.”
Corinth, last season’s Class 4A state runner-up, was led by senior Collin Burns with a 41.
Three players for the Warriors – Curtis Dillinger, Chase Little and Noah McQueen – all shot 42s.
Drew Fandel, a junior, paced the Tupelo “B” unit with a 41. Kirk Reeder, a sophomore, added a round of 42.
Johnson hit the practice range after his round. He likes the Golden Wave’s chances of winning a sixth straight state title.
“We have a good lineup,” he said.
Tupelo 161, Corinth 167, Tupelo B 175
Tupelo: Miles Johnson 38, Blake Harris 40, Austin Rose 41, Hayden Buckley 42, Daniel Purnell 44
Corinth: Collin Burns, 41 Curtis Dillinger 41, Chase Little 41, Noah McQueen 41, Bryant Carleton 52
Tupelo B: Drew Fandel 41, Kirk Reeder 42, Miles Roy 44, Walker Clayton 48, Garner Nance 51