Chastain finishes as low freshman, LaGrange wraps state tournament in ninth place
Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2023
The LaGrange boys golf team is back. While the Grangers did not come back with a state championship trophy, the Grangers produced their best season in years en route to a ninth place finish at the AAAA state tournament that took place on Monday and Tuesday at the Whitewater Creek Country Club.
The team was led by sensational freshman Saxon Chastain, who finished the state tournament as the low freshman medalist.
“He really understands how to play tournament golf,” Thrasher said. “He doesn’t let one bad hole or two bad holes make and break him. That’s the mentality we are trying to instill in the rest of the team and it is what separates our team right now from the top teams.”
Chastain shot an 80 on the first day and a 75 on day two to earn the honors. He was not the only Granger who put in a quality showing at the state tournament. Grady Westmoreland, fresh off getting some playing time in the AAAA state baseball championship over the weekend, was able to find enough energy to put in a really good showing over the two days.
“It is super incredible that he was able to pitch on day one and then play in the field on day two in the state playoffs and then turn around and play a practice round on Sunday before the tournament on Monday and Tuesday,” Thrasher said. “His body was worn down and beat up, but he was able to power through it.”
Westmoreland finished tied for 21st with a total score of 159 (82-77). The other two lowest scorers for LaGrange were Hugh Kersey with a combined score of 175 and senior Jackson Dennis, who shot a combined 183. Dennis was the lone senior on the roster and his experience and leadership will be sorely missed according to Thrasher.
Ty Ormsby, who shot a combined 189, will be a senior next and expected to provide leadership even as he splits time with soccer. Ben Woodham could not play in this year’s state tournament, but the rising senior is expected to provide leadership and a steady hand as one of the team’s best players.
Another freshman, Charlie Pitts, played for the Grangers in the tournament, shooting a 188. This was Pitts’ first year playing competitive golf and Thrasher expects him to take take a lead heading into his sophomore season.
Conditions were less than ideal Monday which led to most players shooting a lower score on Tuesday. The wind was howling at around 20 miles per hour with rain causing a half hour delay. Instead of a sunny afternoon on the course, the players were treated to conditions much more suited to a British Open.
“Conditions were not favorable, but it was that way for everybody,” Thrasher said. “I told the guys they can’t throw a pity party in that situation and they have to focus on one shot at a time.”
Despite the tough conditions, Thrasher was content with the performance, even if he believed the team did not play up to its potential. With all but one golfer set to return next year, Thrasher sees no reason the Grangers should not improve on this performance and challenge for a spot in the top six.
“We don’t feel good about how we finished even though we felt good about how we bounced back on Tuesday,” Thrasher said. “I still feel like we left some shots out there.”
Saxon Chastain made a par putt on the final hole to secure low freshman at the tournament by one stroke.