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Bearkatz dominate for another 2A title

by Erick Taylor | October 6, 2021 at 2:27 a.m.

MELBOURNE -- Melbourne outdistanced the rest of the Class 2A state tournament field by 29 strokes at Cooper Hawk Golf Course on Tuesday to earn its second consecutive boys state golf title.

Senior Roby Cooper's 2-over 74 earned him medalist runner-up honors and led the Bearkatz to an overall total of 236. Ethan Seay shot a 79, Caden Griffin finished with an 83 and Brady Gunther came in with an 85.

"We had a really good day," Melbourne Coach Blake Smith said. "Our first three golfers shot well on the first six holes. They hit a couple of bumpy spots in that middle third, but we really finished strong."

Maumelle Charter finished second with team total of 265 with Luke Hanson earning medalist honors after shooting an even par 72 on his first trip to Cooper Hawk.

"I started off with a couple of bogeys on the front, but I made a birdie on 14 that got me going," Hanson said.

Hanson went on to birdie the next three holes before finishing up with a par on the 18th.

"I think we shot pretty well as a team," he said. "We could have been a little better, but we will take it."

Conway St. Joseph was third overall with a team score of 270. Landon Baker led the team with an 87.

Colin Purifoy of Spring Hill shot a 75 to be the third qualifier for the Overall state tournament and finished with a fourth place score of 282.

Cooper, who led most of the day until Hanson's string of birdies on the back nine, said he believes the faith and a friendship bond among his teammates was the reasons for the championship.

"Today, it was kind of a game against the course," said Cooper, who was 1 over at the turn. "I played it safe and made more pars than I ever had before."

Cooper had 16 pars, 13 on consecutive holes. An example of his day happened on the seventh hole when he drove into the rough, chipped 10 feet past the hole and sank his par putt.

"I just stayed out of the way and let them play," Smith said. "Roby played absolutely outstanding. The expectations are set now, but as a coach you can't help but be proud of your kids."

Bigelow was fifth overall with a 289. Buffalo Island Central was next with a 294, followed by Caddo Hills (303), Poyen (306), Bay (306), Salem (319), Mountainburg (323) and Magazine (330).

Print Headline: Bearkatz dominate for another 2A title

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