tom.mark@gaflnews.com



TIFTON -- The Red Terrors of Glynn Academy captured the 22nd playing of the Tift County High Blue Devil Invitational golf tournament here Tuesday afternoon at the Spring Hill Country Club.

The tournament was originally scheduled a month ago, but the event was rained out. Tuesday's tournament marked the last for longtime Blue Devil head golf coach Emmett Bowers who announced at the beginning of the 2002 season that this would be his last.

Paced by Pat Patterson's third place 71, Glynn Academy shot a combined 298 to edge Valdosta by one stroke. Lowndes was third with 302.

The Wildcats placed two players in the top five. Valdosta's Dallas Miller won the medal with a two-under par 70. Nathaniel Balanis, with an even-par 72, was fourth.

The other top five finishers were Warner Robins ninth grader Ben Kishigan, who was second with a one-under 71 and Columbus' Adam Cooper, fifth with a 72.

Tift County's Blue team was tied for ninth place with 324. Tommy Edwards led the squad with a 79. The Blue Devils' White team shot a 346. Cliff Parker paced the team with a 77.

Bowers was pleased that the tournament was able to played in what is always a busy high school season.

"We're happy that the board let us reload and play this tournament," Bowers said. "I wanted to do this to put a little closure on this season for me.

"We had a nice field today and we got to play a lot of young kids."

Besides the Devils, Wildcats and Vikings, the Blue Devil Invitational also featured Region 1-AAAAA teams Coffee, Colquitt, Lee and Ware.

The Gators shot 322 finishing eighth while Coffee tied with Tift Blue at 324. Lee County was 11th with 336 and Colquitt was 12th at 339. The Packers, according to Bowers, were playing without two of their top players.

The late playing of the BDI has served as a region warm up of sorts for the 1-AAAAA teams. They will meet again Monday at Francis Lake Golf Club in Lake Park, the home course of the Lowndes Vikings.

Francis Lake is the site where Bower's 1979 Blue Devil squad won his first region championship. It would be the first of many titles for the Bowers and the Blue Devils, including three consecutive state titles in the 1990s.



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