Last season's Class AAAA boys golf state champions survived a competitive field in Thursday's Region 3-AAAA tournament. The Lakeside Panthers will advance to the Class AAAA state tournament after a close call at the region competition.
The Panthers nearly missed out on a state bid. Only the top two teams from each region qualified for state competition, and at the end of Thursday's region tournament round, the Panthers sat in a tie for second place with Greenbrier.
"I knew our region was the toughest in the state," Lakeside boys golf coach Jay Gilstrap said. "It's solid top to bottom. We saw some quality golf."
Playing at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga., the top four golfers from Lakeside and Greenbrier shot 305 to finish in a tie behind the Academy of Richmond County.
The Musketeers won the Class AAA state title last season and claimed a Region 3-AAAA championship this year with a score of 297. That forced Lakeside and Greenbrier into a one-hole playoff to decide which team took second place and advanced to the state tournament and which team saw its season come to an end.
With all six golfers from each team competing in the playoff, Gilstrap said the one-hole scores from each teams' top four golfers counted. With the score tied heading into the final foursome, Greenbrier's last two golfers parred and bogeyed the hole and Lakeside went par, birdie to win the tiebreaker.
"Brian Carter hit one 18 inches from the hole and had a tap in for birdie," Gilstrap said. "That's how we won it."
Richmond Academy's Clark Palmer was the tournament's low medalist with a 1-under par 71. Lakeside's Tom Hardy led the Panthers with a round of 73.
Lakeside and Richmond Academy will advance to Monday's Class AAAA state tournament at Bartram Trail Golf Course in Grovetown.
In the Region 3-AAAA girl's golf tournament, Glynn Academy won the region title with a score of 142 and Ware County took second place overall with a 144. Lakeside and Richmond Academy tied for third place with a score of 186.
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