Glynn, Frederica finish top 3 at Camden Classic
Feb. 27—An impressive field took to the links this past weekend at Osprey Cove for the annual Camden Classic.
While Wayne County walked away the winners with a score of 282, local programs Glynn Academy (293) and Frederica Academy (294) claimed second and third, respectively, in the 20-team field.
Glynn's second-place finish was despite the absence of one of the team's top golfers in Grady Sanders, who will miss much of the season as he recovers from an injury.
Instead, it was Shep Davenport who led the team with a personal tournament-best 6-under 66, which was second individually amongst the field. Williamson Mosher shot a 74, Ellis Long shot 75, and Hank Holcomb rounded out the scores at 78.
"Grady was in a car accident last weekend and broke his femur," said Glynn coach Mike Zito. "He just had surgery last Tuesday. They put a steel rod in there, and they're saying after three to four weeks, he should be able to start practicing — I can't believe it. They said his leg will be stronger than before.
"So hopefully we're going to get him back, but we missed him for sure. I think we could have done, who knows, but between Shep, Williamson and Grady, they kind of go back and forth."
Frederica's third-place finished was fueled by Jackson Byrd's sparkling round, which saw him shoot an 8-under 64 to finish one stroke off of the school record set by Jack Roberts in the same tournament a year ago.
Despite a bogey on his first hole, Byrd turned the round around beginning on his fourth hole, collecting four birdies going out and then five consecutive birdies on his final five holes.
"It could have even been better, he burned the edge on a few short putts, but overall, it was very, very impressive," said Frederica coach Tom Willis. "He shot a 65 last year, and so owns two of the top 3 rounds in FA history, and he is just a sophomore.
"He is really striking the ball well and has figured out something with his putting. When he has it going on all cylinders like that, he is very hard to beat. Unfortunately, the rest of the team wasn't able to back up that performance as well as we would have liked."
Travis Cavalier shot a 75, as did Thomas Sams. But with Lance Reid shooting an 80, Aarnav Nath at 81, and Campbell Williams at 83 for the round, it wasn't enough for Frederica to make a run at first place.
"Travis got a few over early, but he kept it right there for pretty much the rest of the day with a bogey here and there but some birdies to match," Willis said. "He has been a great surprise this year, as he struggled a bit to score last year but has grown a lot and hits it a lot longer now. His short game has improved too, and he has really stepped up for this team.
Thomas had it 1 under with just a few holes left but made a big number on his 16th hole which cost him. He hits it well and is very capable of going low. So are Aarnav and Campbell, but they really struggled today. I expect this will be a low point for those guys as they have very good games and usually play a lot better than that."
Glynn Academy's 'B' team also competed in the Camden Classic led by Jake Dancy's round of 81. Drew Harrison shot an 85, Hayden Couturier shot an 89, and Chris Rodine finished at 97.
Playing as individuals, Glynn's Michael Cook and Walker Larkin each shot 81, and Frederica Academy's Charlie Suddeth shot a 72 while teammates Edward Stephens and Robert Stephens were at 86 and 89, respectively.
"Other than Jackson's play, the story of the day for our team was probably Charlie's 72," Willis said. "He didn't shoot quite well enough in the qualifiers to make the top 6, so he played as an individual and shot a super round with four birdies and four bogeys, playing 1 under on his final five holes with the pressure on and the last two into a pretty strong wind.
"I am so happy for him and very excited about the prospects of this team this year. If our No. 7 player can shoot even, we definitely have the talent and depth to do great things. We will see if we can put it all together for the Johnny Paulk this coming Saturday."
Both programs will compete again this weekend at the Jekyll Island Golf Club when Glynn Academy hosts its annual Johnny Paulk Invitational.
"It's going to be a great field," Zito said. "I think we'll have 23 or 24 teams, everywhere from Gainesville, a couple of Atlanta schools, all different classifications. It looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty good day; right now the forecast looks good. We're excited about it. This is always a fun tournament. We always have to turn teams away — we have a waiting list of 15-20 teams because everybody loves to come down here and hangout at Jekyll for a day or two."