July 17, 2009
Everything came together Wednesday for Cade Lott.
The Heritage Academy rising freshman combined a strong chipping game with equally solid putting to take first in the 14- to 15-year-old age division at the Pros of Tomorrow Junior Golf tournament at the Tupelo Country Club.
Lott was tied with Olive Branch''s Connor Davis at 3-over 147 after regulation. Lott then birdied No. 1, the first playoff hole, to earn the championship.
"Going into the playoff I felt nervous, but after I made the putt to win it was an amazing feeling," Lott said. "Going into the overall tournament there were a lot of good players and I felt I had a good chance to be in the top 10 or so, but I never thought about winning it"
Lott shot a 75 in the first round Tuesday, which gave him confidence to make a run at the title. He said a birdie on No. 16 combined with a par for Davis helped him move into a tie. Both players parred the final two holes to set up the playoff.
Back at No. 1, Lott drilled his tee shot down the middle of the fairway, while Davis'' drive went into the rough on the left side. Lott chipped to within two feet of the hole and then made his final putt to take the prize.
Lott said his experience on the course helped him know how to play each hole and put him in place to win his first tournament of the summer. He said he had placed in the top three in two of the other five events he entered.
"I felt good going in, and on the last day I probably played the best I could," Lott said.
Lott will play in a Coca Cola Tour event at the Big Oaks C.C. in Tupelo in two weeks before he gets back to his quarterback duties for the Heritage Academy football team.
In the boys 16-18 division, Columbus'' Will Swedenburg tied for 17th with a two-day total of 157.
Other local competitors in that age group were: Starkville''s Brandon Travis (tied for 32nd, 163), Caledonia''s Zac Taylor (tied for 37th, 164), Starkville''s Thomas Boydstun (47th, 172), Starkville''s Kyle Lacy (tied 50th, 177), Starkville''s Logan Maddox (52nd, 179), and Columbus'' Jase Dalrymple (53rd, 183).
In the boys 14-15 age division, Columbus'' Chase Taylor tied for sixth with a 154, Starkville''s Ryan Lacy tied for 12th (164), Columbus'' Evan McElrath tied for 29th (190), Caledonia''s Trent Humber was 32nd (207), and Columbus'' Bailee Aldridge was 33rd.
In the boys 12-13 age group, Columbus'' Austin Fitch took ninth (169). He was followed by Aberdeen''s J.R. Wright (tied 16th, 178), West Point''s Chase Nash (24th, 197), Starkville''s Jace Hobart (25th, 201), and Aberdeen''s Will Thompson, who was disqualified.
In the boys 11-12 age group, Caledonia''s Eli Taylor tied for 12th with a 104. Starkville''s Cameron Maddox and Caledonia''s Parker Humber were 14th and 15th, respectively, with a 105 and a 108.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.