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HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Albany plays host to GISA Class AAA State Tournament today; Lee's Liggin goes for GHSA AAAA state title in Jekyll Island

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Since the 1990s, the GISA Class AAA State Tournament for golf has been coming to Southwest Georgia.

And today, Deerfield and Southland will try to make sure the championship stays put.

The Knights and Raiders will both take part in today's event, which is being held at Doublegate this year -- Deerfield's home course.

However, if the Knights' final tune-up match last week against tournament favorite Stratford is any indication of how today might go, DWS coach Gordy Gruhl isn't ready to make any kind of predictions.

"We're certainly not the favorite, I don't think," Gruhl said Sunday. "But, hey, anything can happen in a one-day tournament."

Gruhl is rightfully wary of which Deerfield team will show up today after the Knights fired a dismal 334 against Stratford last week on the same course they'll be playing on today.

"Well, we didn't play very good and each player had one or two bad holes -- in perfect conditions, as well," Gruhl said. "But we're a young team with only a couple of players who've ever played in a state tournament before, so I don't think the pressure's really on us. A top three or four finish would mean, to me, we had a pretty good tournament."

Deerfield has beaten local competition like Southland all season -- scoring as low as a 308 at one point -- but the Knights will have to dig deep and find an even better score if they want to win their first state title since the 2008 season.

"The thing that's different about golf than any other sport is that you're not really playing Stratford or any other team for that matter -- you're playing against the course," said Gruhl, who is also the boys basketball coach. "So it's not like we can press them, or change defenses. You just have to go out and play the course and hope you're good enough to get the job done."