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Darton golf takes lead in Region XVII tournament

The Cavs jump opening-round leader Andrew College

Dale Dover

Dale Dover

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Jake O’Bryan

FORT GAINES — Darton State didn’t stay down for long.

After falling a shot behind host Andrew College in Friday’s opening round of the Region XVII tournament, the Darton golf team shot up the leaderboard Saturday and will take a seven-stroke lead into today’s final round.

“I feel a lot better (Saturday) than I did (Friday),” Darton coach Dale Dover said. “If we play (today) like we did (Saturday) then we will be in good shape.”

The Cavs, looking for their 13th straight Region XVII title, shot a 6-over 294 on Saturday at Meadow Links Golf Course and lead ABAC by seven strokes. First-round leader Andrew shot a 305 and trails Darton by 10 shots.

Dover was reluctant to talk about the prospects of a 13th straight title and instead kept his focus on 18 holes of clean golf today.

“I’m just trying to get the guys to focus on playing the next round and focus like they did in the last round at Goose Pond,” said Dover, referring to a last month’s Ron Marshall Spring Fling at Goose Pond Country Club in Scottsboro, Ala., where the Cavs won the tournament with a sizzling final-round 289. “I told them that we have to play like we don’t even have a lead. I told them to go out and play like everybody is tied for the lead.”

Darton was led Saturday by freshman Jake O’Bryan, who bounced back from his throw-out score of 78 on Friday with a 1-under 71. He was followed individually by Tae Kim (73), Madison Turner (75) and Seth Sanders (75). Taylor Martin shot a 73 but signed an incorrect score card and had his round forfeited.

Georgia Military College is a distant fourth in the four-team tournament at 659 and 68 shots behind Darton.