The Pierce County Bears finished in a tie for 10th in the 32-team Johnny Paulk Invitational on St. Simons Island over the weekend.
PCHS shot a 318 team score to finish 26 shots off the pace of Lambert, which carded a four-over-par team score of 292. Lambert’s Spencer Ball capturted medalist honors with a two-under-par round of 70.
“This is the biggest tournament we play in all year,” said head coach Stuart Stipe. “There are 32 teams from all across the state representing all six classifications. Of the 32 teams, 25 of them are really good. I like to use this tournament as a measuring stick against some of the best golf programs in the entire state. It’s like the Daytona 500 of high school golf.
“We were the 1st-place AAA team, but the defending state champions (Blessed Trinity) were not there. We played well and were competitive for 14 or 15 holes. We just have to learn how to finish. We did not play well enough to win, but if we just play “normal” the last 3 or 4 holes, we finish in the top 5.”
Greater Atlanta Christian was second at 295, followed by Fredrica Academy (300), Columbus (310), Brookstone (313) and Milton (313) to round out the Top 5.
The next five consisted of Camden County (314), North Hall (315), West Forsyth (315), PCHS (318) and Tift County (318).
Finishing 12th-20th were Colquitt County (321), St. Pius (321), North Oconee (325), Glynn Academy #1 (327), Glynn Academy #2 (327), South Forsyth (327), Norcross (332), Coffee High (339) and North Atlanta (339).
The rest of the field included Woodstock (341), Presbyterian (342), Wayne County (343), Ware County (345), Statesboro (346), Centennial (355), Hillgrove (357), Benedictine (360), Brantley County (408), Brunswick (414) and Parkview (442).
Ty Metts was low medalist for the Bears carding a six-over-par round of 78. John Ben James followed with a 79. Zac Thornton and Jake Harvard added rounds of 80 and 81 respectively. Kole Kicklighter finished out the five-man squad with an 86.
“It’s a long season and we have a long way to go,” said Stipe. “I do like this group and feel confident that the best is yet to come. We have not played our best golf. We must get to a point where our work ethic and mental games meet or exceed our expectations.”