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Green Wave golf in lead after day one of state tournament

NATCHEZ — The baseball rivalry between Cathedral and St. Aloysius may be higher profile, but an even more important battle will take place at Beau Pré Country Club today — one with a state championship on the line.

After the first day of the MHSAA Class 1A State Golf Tournament, the Green Wave have a slim four-shot lead over the Flashes.

Cathedral shot a 331 as a team in Thursday’s first round while St. Al shot a 335. The third place team of Thrasher is well back after shooting a 373, so the state championship will come down to the two rivals.

“I am ecstatically pleased with the position we’re in, Cathedral golf coach Kurt Russ said. “It’s a position (these players) have never been in before. It was fun to watch.”

St. Al golfer Chris Ingram was the individual low golfer with a 74, but Cathedral’s team was consistent was more consistent one through four.

Avery Middleton led the Green Wave with a 77 while Elliot McCann shot 80, Steve Scarborough shot 82, Kayd Rush shot 92 and Aaron Sandifer shot a 98.

The top four scores count toward the team total.

Russ was particularly impressed with Middleton, who began his round with a triple-bogey on the first hole and a bogey on the second hole before recovering to post a 77.

“You start off with a triple-bogey and your mind can go anywhere,” Russ said. “He battled and battled and kept it under 80. I’m really proud of him for that.”

Even with the great first round, Russ said Cathedral must improve its score today if it wants to win the state championship.

“There is room for improvement with our score,” Russ said. “That being said, St. Al didn’t shoot their typical scores either. I don’t expect St. Al to come out (today) with those scores they had. My guess is we’ll have to shoot eight or nine shots (today) to have a chance of winning.”

Russ said he believes his team will come out ready to play in today’s final round, which begins at 8 a.m.

“I’ve got two seniors and I told them this is their one shot,” Russ said. “Don’t think a four-shot lead is safe. Come out and play a good round and we’ll see what happens.

“Golfers feed off each other and hopefully with the pairings we’ll have (today) we’ll feed off each other and have good scores.”

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