SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - High school golf teams competed in prep majors year round, but the Grand Bear golf course is unique in it’s own right, as local golfers would soon learn at the 5th annual Bank of Wiggins Invitational.
Gulfport’s Sam Lee won Invitational individually, finishing with a score of 68, but Picayune came out on top as a team with an overall score of 310. Vancleave finished as the runner-up with Trenton and Trace Sonnier posting the two lowest scores for the Bulldogs, but the fun wasn’t over once the tourney ended as teams participated in the Coca-cola Shootout Challenge.
Stone put a birdie at 18 tee to advance to 9 tee for the championship, while Gulfport would eventually follow after being in a 3-way tie.
Stone came up clutch once again, putting in another from close range, but Gulfport’s John Michael Miller’s ball rolls in and out, ultimately taking him out of contention. George County’s Cy Smith and Taylor Warden win the shootout with a birdie, finishing one under par for the course.
“This is one of the best events of the year down here,” Gulfport’s Sam Lee told WLOX. You get the best teams, best players and at a golf course like this Grand Bear. A great track, really tough designed by Jack Nicklaus and he really test the player here. To be able to shoot a good score and to get a good run going, finished with a birdie and go it in with a 68."
“This competition is one of the hardest. You bring together 10, 15 schools from all over the coast,” Hancock’s Ty Lamb told WLOX after finishing as runner-up to Lee for individual title. We all compete for the best and in my opinion, this is more important than district."
“This year it just so happen that it was the last of the five majors that we put on throughout the year. All these coaches work hard to put them on,” Mississippi Gulf Coast head golf Coach Tommy Snell told WLOX. We keep statistics of every tournament and they have to play in at least three of them and we take an average, so it’s a pretty good race."
At the end of Tuesday’s festivities, ten players were chosen for the South Mississippi Living All High School Major Team (Players Listed Below).
1. Peyton Russell (Gautier) Average - 74.67 (Player of the Year)
2. Sam Lee (Gulfport) Average - 74.80
3. Cy Smith (George County) Average - 75.25
4. Cam Guidrey (Picayune) Average -75.40
5. Seth Alexander (Pascagoula) Average - 79.33
6. Trace Sonnier (Vancleave) Average - 79.75
7. Max Guzhvin (St. Martin) Average - 80.00
8. Trenton Sonnier (Vancleave) Average - 80.50
9. Ty Lamb (Hancock) Average - 80.60
10. Hayden Russell (Gautier) Average - 81.00