Pinewood Prep wins Palmetto High School Golf Championship

April 12, 2009


Pinewood Prep coach Greg Baechtle brought his team to the Palmetto High School Golf Championship the previous four years, using the nation’s largest high school tournament as a barometer for the Panthers’ strength. In 2010, the tournament field will use the North Charleston school as its measuring stick.

Led by medalist winner Austin Cody, the 41st ranked junior player in the world, according to Golfweek, the Panthers had three of the top six individual finishers and roared to a 13-stroke victory in the 71-team field. Pinewood shot a 298 Saturday on the Tiger’s Eye course at Ocean Ridge Plantation.

The Panthers, who have improved their standing every year they’ve competed, conquered the championship flight with a team total of 616. Columbia’s Spring Valley finished second with a 629. Forsyth Country Day (N.C.) had 631, good for third place.

“I’ve had most of the (team together) for a long time,” Baechtle said. “We’ve grown over the years and gotten steadily better … We kind of came in thinking we could win this event. We have a pretty solid team. We are the first team at our school to win any kind of national tournament.”

Pinewood took control of the tournament with a 318 Friday at Pawleys Plantation, a score good enough to give it a 10-stroke lead heading into the final round. Four of Pinewood’s five players shot 79 or below Saturday, shutting the door on any comeback attempt.

Cody fired a one-over 73 at Tiger’s Eye but, like his team, he seized control of the event at Pawleys Plantation. Cody shot a par 72 at Pawleys, which was 13.9 strokes better than the average score. His total of 145 was five strokes better than teammate Kamito Hirai who shot a 150 (79-71) to finish second.

Stephen Behr of West Florence (S.C.) finished third at 151, including a tournament-best 69 at Tiger’s Eye. Ben Fogler also shot a 151 and finished fourth based on having a higher second round score. Ross Slaughter completed the top five with a 154. Pinewood’s Richard Hubbard shot a 153, good for sixth.

St. James shot a two-day 667 and finished 11th place, while Myrtle Beach finished 13th with a 674.

Walter M. Williams (N.C.) High School won the First Flight championship, led by Robert Register, who captured medalist honors.

Lake Norman A (N.C.) won the Second Flight championship. Landmark Christian’s (Atlanta, Ga.) Bryan Moore earned medalist honors.

Forsyth Country Day (N.C) B captured the third flight, and Western Almance’s Clay Holland was the top individual finisher.

Guntersville High School won the Fourth Flight, and Holt Garrett earned medalist honors.

The Palmetto High School Championship is a 54-hole college-style golf tournament played on courses throughout the Myrtle Beach area.

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