LaGrange High to host one of the biggest high school golf tournaments in the southeast starting on Thursday

Published 8:15 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

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One of the most prestigious high school golf tournaments in the state of Georgia is set to get going on Thursday with LaGrange High hosting the three-day golfing marathon known as the LaGrange Toyota Invitational. Fifteen teams will be battling it out over three days in what will be a big weekend of golf for this area. The 14 teams coming from out of town and where they finished a season ago are: Benedictine – 4A 3rd place, Buford – 6A 7th place, Gainesville – 7A runner up, Harris Co. – 5A 8th place, Lambert  – 7A 3rd place, Lowndes – 7A 5th place, Marist – 4A 4th place, Northgate- 5A 5th place, Perry – 4A runner up, Prince Avenue Christian – 2x state champs, Columbus – 4A 6th place, Rome, Woodward Academy – 5A 3rd Place, and Brookstone – Single A runner up.

“It’s the only three day 72-hole high school tournament in the state of Georgia and as far as I know, in the Southeast,” LaGrange coach Ben Thrasher said. “It’s quite a unique event and one that I have to turn teams away from every year because so many teams want to come play in it.”

The Callaway Gardens Lake View course will be the site of day one on Thursday with opening tee time set for 1 p.m followed by the Callaway Gardens Mountain View course on Friday with team time also set for 1 p.m. Saturday will see the top eight teams play at Highland Country Club with the quarterfinals set for 9 a.m. and the final with a rough start time of 1:30 p.m. 

“I think the fact that you get to play in three different courses that offer three different challenges is one of the main attractions,” Thrasher said. 

The Grangers are not just looking to be a team that makes up the field. Thrasher had eyes on cracking the top-10 this year and possibly making it to the final day of match play. 

“On Thursday for the first time this year we will have all five of our top players available, and this will be the first time all season that we have had all five at one time,” Thrasher said. “I’m excited to see how they play together.

“I really, really would like to see us be able to play on the final day on our home course.”

Saxon Chastain, Grady Westmoreland, Hugh Kersey, Ty Ormsby and Ben Woodham will take the course on Thursday together for the first time as a team at a tournament. With potential inclement weather impacting play, there is no telling how many holes the quintet of players will actually get through.

“If we were at full strength both days, we would push to make the top eight and earn a spot on Saturday,” Thrasher said. “With a limited roster on Friday, we are going to have a hard time making the top eight, but if we play up to our capabilities we can do it.

“As long as the course is playable and there is no lightning, we will play on Thursday as long as we can. We are fully prepared to play in rainy conditions.”