The Darton golf team poses with its trophy after winning Saturday's Ron Marshall Spring Fling. (Special photo)
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Mired in one of its longest droughts without a tournament victory, the Darton golf team needed a pick-me-up.
The Cavs got that and more Saturday at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course.
Nationally-ranked No. 14 Darton shot a 1-over 289 in the final round of the Ron Marshall Spring Fling to pull away and win the 15-team tournament by 17 strokes, ending an 11-month drought without a victory. It was also the team’s first Spring Fling title since 2009.
“We hadn’t played like this all year. It was about time we played good,” Darton sophomore Taylor Martin said. “We needed this one pretty bad. The season is almost over, and with only one more (regular season) tournament left, playing this good was a boost for everybody.”
Martin finished second individually and two shots behind tournament winner Hayes Weathersby of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Martin — who shot a 1-under 71 in his final round and finished the tournament 5-under — was tied with Weathersby heading into Saturday’s final hole, but his approach shot burrowed deep into the greenside bunker, causing Martin to double-bogey the hole and slip two shots behind Weathersby.
All five of Darton’s golfers finished in the Top 15 individually, including Tae Kim, whose 1-under 71 on Saturday gave the Cavs their sixth sub-par round of the tournament. Jake O’Bryan (75-68-75) finished eighth; Seth Sanders (77-69-73) finished tied for ninth; Madison Turner (73-73-74) finished 13th; and Kim (77-75-71) finished tied for 15th.
“This is a confidence booster for all of us,” Darton coach Dale Dover said. “You could see it in them (Saturday). Everybody was composed and getting the job done. The demeanor was different. Nobody panicked, and they finally found out what they can do. They were a real team (Saturday). I am very, very excited about what they did.”
Darton entered the third round clinging to a six-shot lead over No. 5 Faulkner State, but Faulkner shot a 12-over 300 and finished a distant second behind the Cavs.
“Our guys went out there with a lot of confidence and took over,” Dover said.
The Cavs play again April 5 in the Region XVII tournament before entering the District IV tournament at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club on April 15.