The last LaFayette High School golfer to win an individual state title was P.J. Shields, who tied for the championship back in 2009 when the state finals only consisted of 18 holes.

And while he still has some ground to make up on Tuesday, sophomore Grant Langford has at least put himself in the conversation as a contender in 2021.

Playing in his first state tournament as a Rambler, Langford shot a very nice round of 2-over-par 73 on Monday in the first round of the Class AAA boys' championship at Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell. He is currently tied for fourth place in the individual standings with Perry Austin Kilburn of Monroe Area.

Brady Mullaly finished with an 80 for LaFayette in the first round and is currently tied for 14th overall, while the Ramblers got a 90 from Mason Thompson and a 102 from Scott Smith to round out their team score of 345. Junior Barber (106) and Jackson Brewster (124) also played for LaFayette in the first round.

LaFayette and 10 other teams in the field are all chasing nine-time state champion Westminster, who has won the last two titles in Class AAA. The Wildcats finished the first round with a score of 295, including a 69 from leader Harris Barth and a 71 from second-place Price Miller. William Love shot 74 and is currently in sixth place, while Jacob Wood carded an 81.

Richmond Academy (320) is 25 shots off the pace, while Dawson County (324), Morgan County (341) and Pierce County (344) round out the top five. LaFayette is sixth, two shots ahead of Coahulla Creek (347).

In the girls' Class AAA tournament, being held at Apple Mountain Golf Club in Clarkesville, Ringgold got an 85 from Maclaine Donovan, a 95 from Ellie Roy and a 126 from Alexis Bracket, while the Lady Tigers' score of 306 puts them in seventh place after Day 1. Donovan is currently tied for 11th place in the individual standings, while Roy sits just outside of the top 20.

White County set the pace on Monday with a 240, followed by North Hall (255) and Pierce County (259). Individually, White County's Catie Craig and North Hall's Mikayla Dubrik are tied atop the leaderboard after both shot 1-under-par 71's on Monday.

Class AAAA

In Athens, the University of Georgia course is hosting both the boys and girls' state tournaments in Class AAAA and both Heritage teams are currently sitting in sixth place.

The Lady Generals got an 89 from Lauren Self, a 105 from Maddie Hunt and a 108 from Kendall Harrell for a team total of 302, tying them with Troup. Self is in 14th place in the individual standings.

North Oconee (242) currently enjoys a 20-shot cushion over second-place Marist (262), while Northwest Whitfield (263) and Columbus (264) are right behind. Flowery Branch (291) currently sits in fifth place in the team standings.

Individually, North Oconee's Madi Chappell and Northwest Whitfield Sarah Burger are the leaders in the clubhouse after a pair of 75's on Monday. They lead West Laurens' Kate Belote by one stroke going into Tuesday's final round.

On the boys' side, Heritage finished with a team score of 310 after the first 18 holes. Cain Stover shot a solid 76 and is tied for 11th place. Chandler Burns finished at 77 and is currently tied for 17th. Samuel Johnson carded a 78 and is tied for 25th, while Robert Allan Lyle's 79 has him tied for 32nd place. Declan Ryan (88) and Carter Bell (92) also teed it up for the Generals on Monday.

A blistering round of 285 has North Oconee in the lead. The Titans got a 69 from Luke Koenig, and a 70 from Luke Jarvis to take the first two spots on the individual scoreboard. Two more North Oconee players, Eli Rogers and Freddie Chappell, both shot 73 and are tied for fourth. The Titans last won a state golf championship in 2014 as a member of Class AAA.

Marist is in second place with a 303, one shot clear of Jefferson (304) and six shots ahead of both Perry and Pickens, who are tied at 309.

Class A Public

At the National Course at Reynolds on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, the Gordon Lee Trojans find themselves in seventh place after the first round of the Class A Public School state tournament.

Ayden Cordell paced the Trojans with an 86 in Round 1, followed by Zane Blaylock's 89. Sam Carswell shot 106 and Andrew Sizemore finished at 107 to complete Gordon Lee's team score of 388. Jack Lowery (110) and Tanner Maynor (117) also played for the Navy-and-White.

Lake Oconee Academy, the host team, shot a 315 on Monday and leads Social Circle (318) by just three shots, while Metter (324), Drew Charter (330), Schley County (351) and Commerce (386) round out the top six spots.

Rylan Black of Lake Oconee Academy shot a 1-over-par 73 to take the first round lead in the individual standings. He leads by two over Metter's Ian Glanton, while three other golfers are tied for third at 77. Cordell is tied for 19th place and Blaylock is currently in a tie for 27th.

The National Course is also hosting the Class A Public School girls' championship and Lake Oconee Academy finished Monday with a 152 to take a 22-shot lead over Drew Charter (174) and Portal (177).

Individually, Katie Scheck of Lake Oconee Academy leads the standings with a 1-over 73. She enjoys a six-shot cushion over her sister Kelly Scheck, who shot a 79. Lake Oconee Academy also holds down the third spot in the standings, thanks to an 83 from Georgia Bosert. The Lady Titans are looking for a third consecutive state championship in the classification.

Cora Mount, the only golfer playing for the Gordon Lee Lady Trojans in the tournament, shot a 90 on Monday and currently sits in eighth place in the standings with 18 holes still to play on Tuesday.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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