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Lions claim elusive title

Any golfer in the Peachtree Ridge boys' lineup can score really low at any point. It was Jack Walsh's turn Monday.

The junior earned low medalist honors with a 67 at Jekyll Island Golf Club's Oleander Course, powering the Lions to their first Class AAAAA state championship after three years of just coming up short. Five Peachtree Ridge golfers shot 74 or better as they defeated runner-up Harrison by seven strokes.

"It's nice after getting so close last year to finally pull it out," Walsh said. "It was a very good feeling. We have five or six guys that can shoot low, it was just a matter of doing it all in one day. And today we did it."

Peachtree Ridge, which became the first Gwinnett boys team to win a Georgia High School Association state golf title, finished with a team score of 6-under 282. The leaders got to as low as 10 under at the turn.

Seth Reeves and Zach Estep each shot 71 for the Lions, who also counted a 73 from Ben Greene. Ben Lee wasn't far behind at 74.

"After finishing as runner-up last year, they had that taste in their mouths," said Peachtree Ridge coach Bert Green, whose team has won Region 7-AAAAA four straight years. "We were close every year, so winning state's been our goal all year."

Walsh led the way thanks to his fairway accuracy on a tight course. He hit 13 of 14 fairways and had three birdies and an eagle. He shot 32 on the front before closing with a 35.

A birdie on No. 4 and an eagle on No. 6 got his round off to a nice start.

"(Driving accuracy) was big," Walsh said. "Once you get off the fairway here, you're in trouble."

Brookwood placed 12th and Grayson was 13th in the AAAAA boys division.

Gwinnett also had a strong showing Monday in a smaller classification. The Wesleyan boys tied for fifth in the Class A state tourney at Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta.

The Wolves were led by top-10 finisher Chandler Machemehl, who shot a team-best 71. He was followed by William Thompson (74), Clay Clifton (74) and Ben Wilkinson (75).