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Darton State College golf team falls apart in final round

The Cavs shoot a 329 to drop to fourth place

Gary Hilton

Gary Hilton

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — The Darton State golf team stood toe-to-toe with some of the top junior college programs in the nation on Monday, taking a 1-shot lead into the last 18 holes of the Central Alabama Community College Fall Invitational.

The Cavs didn’t have nearly as much success against the wind during Tuesday’s final round.

After shooting a tournament-best 293 on Monday, the nationally ranked No. 10 Cavs fell apart in 40-mph wind gusts on Tuesday and shot a 329 to fall all the way to fourth place and 30 shots behind tournament winner Wallace State Community College.

“That was the first time all fall we had led a tournament,” Darton associate head coach Gary Hilton said. “Yeah, it was disappointing. The most important thing was that we fell apart. Instead of someone beating us, we beat ourselves. That’s the worst part of it.

“I wish we could have shown up and even had our A-minus game to see if we could have played with some of the best teams in the nation. But we showed up with our F game.”

No. 6 Wallace State (592), No. 13 Faulkner State (597) and No. 3 CACC (610) all jumped Darton in the team standings after the Cavs couldn’t handle an approaching cold front that brought severe wind gusts and dropped the temperature.

“It got cold and windy, and we crumbled,” Hilton said. “This is first time some of these guys have seen these conditions before. I would like to say it’s a great learning experience. Maybe next time they will be able to hold up under the pressure.”

Seth Sanders shot a 79 and was the only Darton golfer to break 80 at the par-72 course at Willow Point Country Club.

Also scoring for the Cavs were Taylor Martin 81, Madison Turner 82, Hunter Elliot 87 and reigning Herald Player of the Year and former Seminole County star Tyler Shamblin 88.

It was the final tournament of the fall for the Cavs, who will be holding a fundraising event at 1 p.m. Friday at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club.

There are still openings for the event, which is a four-person scramble that features teams of three paired with a current or former Darton golfer. Lunch and several prize raffles will also be provided. The fee is $150 per person or $450 per team. For more information or to reserve a spot contact head coach Dale Dover at (229) 336-6699.