TIFTON — The Darton golf team talked a big game coming into the Region XVII Championship about being the favorite and rolling to the program’s 13th straight title.
They’re still the favorite after the first round — but the Cavs are hardly running away from anyone.
After Darton fired what coach Bill Jones III called an “awful” 305, the Cavs led after the first round Sunday at the Golf Club of South Georgia by just four shots over surprise second-place finisher Georgia Military (309). ABAC, playing on its home course, was expected to be the team to challenge the Cavs, but the Stallions sat in third (313).
Jones, whose program has won 12 straight region crowns, said he was not happy the Cavs weren’t out in front by more.
“We should be leading by double digits,” he said. “But we just didn’t shoot well. We’re counting 78s and 79s when we should be throwing those scores out and counting 73s and 75s. A couple of my guys just lost their minds out there (Sunday).”
Staying quite sane was Darton’s Madison Parks, who carded a 73 and sits first overall individually, followed by ABAC’s Lee Wright (75) and Darton’s Parks Brown, who had a 76 and “did his job,” Jones said. Not playing up to par, added Jones, was Nick Green (77), Taehyung Kim (79) and Robert Roberson (80).
“I haven’t seen them yet, but when we meet, I’m going to tell them how bad we played and then try to fix it before (today),” said Jones, whose team is looking for its 13th straight trip to nationals should it win this week’s regionals.
CAVS BASEBALL LOSES 14-INNING HEARTBREAKER:
TIFTON – After 14 innings the Darton State College Cavaliers fell to ABAC, 7-6, in the final of a four-game conference series Sunday.
Darton almost had the win in the bag — and Cordele’s Davis Adkins was closing out the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead — when disaster struck and the Fillies tied the game 4-4.
The Cavaliers went up in the 10th by a run and in the 11th by two runs, but they couldn’t close either out.
The loss was Darton’s third to ABAC in the series. They split a doubleheader Saturday and encountered their first at-home loss Tuesday to ABAC, which became the first team to beat Darton at Cavalier Field this season.
But the Cavaliers are still at the top of the conference with a 16-4 GCAA record and are 29-8 overall.
Darton will take a break from its conference schedule and host Chipola today at 4 p.m. and then Thomas University on Wednesday at 4 p.m.