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A relaxing region showdown for Gwinnett's golfers

SNELLVILLE -- For a whole day of golf, it took to the final minutes for a side to emerge.

When scores began coming in toward the end of the first Region 8-AAAAA vs. Region 7-AAAAAA golf match play, the lead kept going back and forth. First 7-AAAAA took a big lead, then 8-AAAAA came back and for seemingly hours each group finished and the score stayed tied.

Finally, two wins by a pair of Brookwood boys teams and two from Archer's girls gave Region 8-AAAAA the narrow bragging rights in the first-time event with a 46 to 28 win.

But there wasn't a big trophy for the winners or even much of a celebration.

That wasn't Monday's purpose.

The event, hosted by Brookwood at its home Summit Chase Country Club, was designed as a break from the weekly stroke-play matches and weekend tournaments. A two-person, match-play scramble, a total of three points were one the line in each match. One point for the front nine, one for the back and one for the overall round, half points were awarded for ties. The teams played the best shot every time. Each winning pair got a small sleeve of golf balls and everyone got a free meal.

Brookwood golf coach Steve Thompson said hosting a golf event between the two Gwinnett Class AAAAA regions has been in the works for a while, but this year the weather finally worked out. The past two years, Monday's scheduled off day was usurped by weather.

"We wanted to do something different," Thompson said.

Representing Region 8-AAAAA were Archer, Brookwood, Dacula, Grayson and Parkview. Collins Hill's boys and both teams from Duluth, Mill Creek, Norcross, North Gwinnett and Mountain View represented Region 7-AAAAA.

As school winds down in the final months, the bigger golf tournaments begin to take precedent in the next few weeks, but Monday's event was a chance for a more stress-free round of golf.

"It was more fun," said Norcross' Jason Mendel, who played with teammate Clay Trocchio and won all three points.

Mendel and Trocchio joked about arguing over whose shot was better at times, but agreed knowing the other one was there, made them swing easy. Neither could remember the last time they played scramble golf.

"It was a lot more relaxing knowing you have your partner," Trocchio said. "We were able to vibe off each other."

Brookwood's Taylor Allen, who also helped her pair to three points for Region 8-AAAAA, agreed with Trocchio and Mendel.

"Today, it was awesome," she said. "I love scrambles and so I was looking forward to a whole team thing and playing with a partner, playing with someone on your team was awesome."

Like her Norcross counterparts and in spite of her love, Allen had no idea when she last didn't play in a scramble.

"It was really nice to play a scramble," she said.