MOULTRIE – Colquitt County golfer Tanner Brown forgot to wear his 2018 state low medalist ring to Thursday’s In The Game Magazine banquet in Valdosta.
It would have been nice to show it to some of the area’s other athletes being honored.
But, like the competitor he is, he shrugged off the oversight, figuring he might be able to take two rings to next year’s event.
Brown was the low medalist in the rain-delay and rain-shorted Class 7A state tournament last year when he shot a 70 on his home course at Sunset Country Club.
He will try to repeat in this week’s two-day tournament that will tee off on Monday at Hamilton Mill Golf Club in Dacula.
Colquitt County coach Lee Wright, himself a former outstanding Packer golfer, says a second straight low medalist finish is not out of the question.
“I really do think he’s got a shot at it,” Wright said of Brown, a junior and a key member of the Colquitt County golf team for the third year.
“It’s not something he can’t do, especially as well as he is hitting it now. He feels loose.”
Colquitt County did not qualify as a team for this year’s state tournament, but Brown’s 74 in the Area 1 tournament enabled him to make the field as an individual.
Lowndes and Tift County each shot 312 in the Area tournament to qualify for state.
Mill Creek will be seeking its third straight state championship this week.
The rest of the 15-team field includes Hillgrove, North Paulding, Newnan, East Coweta, West Forsyth, Cherokee, Walton, Lambert, North Forsyth, Woodstock, North Gwinnett and Brookwood.
The 74 Brown shot in the Area tournament might not be good enough to win low medalist honors again.
But he is clearly capable of duplicating the 70 he shot last year.
Only two players who competed in Area tournaments this year turned in a 70: Hillgrove’s Adam Borowski and South Forsyth’s Drew Shell.
“He knows it’s going to be a tough field up there,” Wright said. “I told him it won’t be easy. But he’s got confidence in himself.”
Wright said Brown is playing much better of late than he did early in the season.
The young golfer is getting lessons from Thomasville professional Bill Connelly and continues to work on his game virtually every day.
“He putts and chips all the time,” Wright said. “I don’t have to get on to him about that.”
The work is paying off.
“He’s not out there thinking about it as much,” Wright said. “He’s not being as technical about it.
“He’s just swinging it.”
Wright just wants his young player to make the right decisions off the tee and continue to play better on the par-5s.
“I’ve been telling him, just put it in the fairway,” Wright said.
Regardless of what happens this week, Brown could have another chance at a ring as a senior in the spring of 2020.
And Wright is hoping Brown and younger brother Tucker, a freshman on this year’s team, will join forces with Caleb Yarbrough and several other promising young golfers to help the Packers qualify as a team for the state tournament again.