West’s ‘lucky’ shot lifts Itawamba AHS to win in golf opener

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

SALTILLO – Braxton West was surprised to earn co-medalist honors Tuesday at Big Oaks.
“I played bad,” said the Itawamba AHS junior golfer. “I got lucky and shot a 40.”
West’s “lucky” 4-over-par score helped lead the Indians to a 5-stroke victory over host Tupelo Christian Prep in a four-team field – 185 to 190. The match was Itawamba’s first this season.
“They’ve got some potential,” IAHS coach Landon Thomas said of his team. “Some of them have really improved since last year.”
TCPS finished second for the third time in three matches this season. Ingomar was third at 212 and Mooreville fourth at 220.
Vardaman’s Brandon Walker, who played solo, tied West for medalist honors.
Three players came in at 5-over 41 – TCPS’s Parker Brooks and Heath Davis, and Ingomar’s Matt Hale.
West believes the windy conditions and rain-soaked course made it tough for the players. “You hit it low and hope for the best,” he said.
While he didn’t record a birdie, West did make two long par-saving putts – a 15-footer on No. 12 and a 25-footer on No. 18.
“I didn’t have a good day on my drives,” West said. “I hit only one fairway.”
TCPS coach Mike Hester was proud of his team’s performance playing against the elements.
“Everything you want golf not to be was here today,” Hester said, then laughed.
TCPS won its division championship and placed third overall in the 1A state tournament last year. The Eagles will host both tournaments this season at Big Oaks.
“I feel like we can win the division again,” Hester said.
“I think we’ve got a good shot to finish high in the state tournament.”
Tupelo High’s scheduled dual match against Corinth was postponed Tuesday because of wet grounds and re-scheduled for today at the Tupelo Country Club.

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