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VALDOSTA — The Dynamite Goodloe Invitational returned to the Valdosta Country Club on Monday as schools from around the south region of the state descended upon the late Georgia Sports Hall of Famer’s home away from home for a competitive round of golf.
Former Valdosta High golf coach, and the tournament’s creator, Jerry Don Baker provided a field of around 90 with a short history lesson on the invitational’s namesake before the golfers hit the course, including the story of how Goodloe shot a 71 at the country club the day he died in 1982.
“We asked Coach Baker to come out and speak to all the kids and coaches that are participating, because he’s the one that actually started this tournament back in 1998, and I just thought it’d be a good thing if he came out and spoke and gave a little background about Dynamite Goodloe,” said the Wildcats’ boys coach Stacey Duckworth.
Acclaimed as one of the best and most colorful amateur golfers in the country, Goodloe was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Georgia State Golf Hall of Fame in 2009 as recognition of a career that saw him play in the Masters three times, the U.S. Amateur four times, and the British Amateur twice.
Monday, the Valdosta girls paid their respects to Goodloe by battling through a fridge afternoon to win the tournament with a score of 252 — more than 20 strokes ahead of second-place Colquitt County’s score of 274.
Padgett Chitty led the charge for the Wildcats with a round of 73 to finish as the girls’ low-medalist.
Valdosta’s girls rode the momentum of a fourth-place finish at the Georgia Club in Athens to another strong round of golf, but it was likely a tournament in Leesburg that helped most in handling a dreary day in which temperatures never even reached 60 degrees.
“They’re just going to have to toughen up and be a little more mentally tough today than any other day,” Duckworth said early in the round. “But we played, a couple weeks ago at Lee County, it was just like this, and we’re just going to have to battle through the conditions. It’s not just us, everybody has got to play in them.”
The Wildcat girls won the Trojan Invitational in Leesburg, and they used that experience to score another victory Monday.
Titletown representatives also finished one-two in the boys’ tournament as Valwood edged Lowndes 310 to 312 to finish in first place.
The race for the low-medalist on the boys’ side was just as close as Viking Davis Carter’s 74 beat out Wildcat Braden Colbert by a single stroke.