Though he missed the cut at last year’s Georgia Junior Championship, Parks Brown learned plenty about Augusta Country Club.
The Gainesville High School senior parlayed his knowledge into a 4-under-par 68 on Monday to win the Georgia Class AAA state championship.
“I knew the course better,” Brown said. “I knew where to put the ball on the greens. I knew not to get aggressive on downhill putts.”
With Brown’s score, Gainesville posted 6-over-par 294 and won its sixth state championship – its first since 1996 – by two shots over Richmond Academy. Pep Brown and Jackson Bishop each scored 75 for the Red Elephants, while Lawson King added 76.
Parks Brown bogeyed the first hole, but he rebounded strong and finished three shots ahead of Tye Waller and four ahead of Carson Willis, both of Spalding.
Brown rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 3 before two-putting for birdie at the par-5 fifth. He added birdies at Nos. 9 and 13 before three-putting for bogey at No. 14. Brown came back with 10-foot birdie putts at Nos. 15 and 16 to cap his round.
“I knew I had to come in strong for us to put up a good number,” Brown said.
Richmond Academy shot 8-over on the front nine, but it charged hard late. Carson Spears and Greyson Sigg each posted 73 to tie for fourth place. Using just 11 putts on the back nine, Spears birdied three of the final six holes – including a 15-footer for birdie at the last. Sigg stood at 3-over through eight holes before posting birdies at Nos. 9 and 11.
Blake Hadden and Austin Knox each shot 75 to round out the Richmond Academy counting scores.
“We played good,” Spears said. “You can’t be upset with shooting 8-over as a team.
“(Brown) shooting 4-under, it makes you realize they deserved to win. We didn’t give it to them.”
Richmond Academy coach Ken Johnson said his team was disappointed it didn’t win with its home-course advantage.
Still, the Musketeers posted their lowest score of the season.
“You can’t be upset with the effort the guys put forward,” he said. “Hand it to Gainesville. They played great today.”
Westside shot 323 to finish eighth in the 16-team field. Davis Parker led the Patriots with 77.