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Thursday May 19th, 2022 11:45PM

State golf: Hogan and Simmons shoot GHS boys into contention despite soggy day

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GAINESVILLE — Ryan Hogan had hours to think about one putt on Monday -- and he wasn't alone.

The Gainesville High golfer was one of dozens of competitors counting the minutes during a three-hour-long rain delay on the first day of the Class AAAAAA state championship tournament at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.

So when Hogan finally got back on the course and dropped a five-footer for par, it proved perhaps the biggest putt of the season so far for the Red Elephants junior, who went on to card a two-under 70 -- good enough for third place individually while helping his team to a 297 that had Gainesville seven shots back of leader Johns Creek.

"That was a turning point for me," said Hogan, who stayed even on 17 before going on to card a 2-under 34 over his final nine holes for his best high school round of the year to head into day two three shots behind individual leaders Austin Fulton of Douglas County and Austin Heider of Greenbrier. "I had just three-putted No. 16 and then we had that big delay, and the whole time I was thinking about that putt on 17. It feels pretty good; I played pretty solid."

The same also could be said for teammate Brody Simmons, who finished at 1-under 71.

"It wasn't that bad out there, just wet," said Simmons, who also put up his best round of the campaign for the Red Elephants. "I birdied 18 right after the delay, so that was big for me."

The long pause seemed to steel Gainesville's resolve, and the Red Elephants gritted their way through the second half of the day, as Davis Weaver (77) and Drew Lasseter (79) also played well in rough conditions. Gainesville finished the day in fifth, hot on the heels of Cambridge and Creekview, which each finished at 293, and Lakeside (294).

"We were a little below our average for the season, and Ryan and Brody played great -- they picked the best time of the year to play well," Gainesville coach Bryson Worley said. "But we prepare and practice for these types of issues, and our kids have never quit. They always fight, and they did a great job of that again today."

"You just had to grind; that's all you could do, just stay dry and keep grinding," added Hogan, who missed out on an eagle on No. 8 by the slimmest of margins. "My third shot rolled to the lip and I thought it was going to go in but it just stayed up by about an inch. But I hit 16 of 18 greens today and did my best to keep a good fighting attitude the whole day. I think we all did."

Gainesville knows it will need to keep fighting in a loaded field that includes last year's Class AAAAAA champ Johns Creek, while weather could once again rear its ugly head on Tuesday.

"We're going to have to go low (to win it all); Class AAAAAA is absolutely loaded," said Worley, who hopes to complete another round of 18 tomorrow in the first year that the GHSA adopted the format.

"It was important to get today in, and we're going to do our best to get tomorrow finished -- we'll play in galoshes if we have to."

Should rain make Tuesday unplayable, the tournament will likely be shortened to 18 holes, with Monday's scores standing for the final.

Play is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Chattahoochee Golf Club.

(NOTE: For full results from different classification championship tournaments from around the state, simply click here.)

HIGH SCHOOL GOLF
Class AAAAAA Boys Championships
At Chattahoochee Golf Club, Gainesville
Monday results

TEAM
1. Johns Creek, 290
2. Cambridge, 293
3. Creekview, 293
4. Lakeside, 294
5. Gainesville, 297
6. Harrison, 298
7. Dalton, 301
tie, Greenbrier, 301
9. Evans, 306
tie, Houston County, 306
11. Dunwoody, 310
12. Glynn Academy, 312
13. Allatoona, 314
14. Sequoyah, 319
15. Centennial, 324
tie, Habersham Central, 324
17. Alpharetta, 335
18. Apalachee, 340

INDIVIDUAL TOP 10
1. Austin Fulton, Douglas County, 69
tie, Austin Heider, Greenbrier, 69
3. Ryan Hogan, Gainesville, 70
4. Andrew Chong, Evans, 71
tie, Andy Mao, Johns Creek, 71
tie, Brady Keran, Creekview, 71
tie, Brody Simmons, Gainesville, 71
tie, Carter Pendley, Dalton, 71
tie, Jackson Cross, Lanier, 71
tie, Matt Leeman, Cambridge, 71
tie, Nic Cassidy, Cembridge, 71
tie, Preston Wagaman, 71

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