Updated: Sep 24, 2021
Lauren Slatton is 2-for-2 in district tournaments. The phenomenal Lady Pioneer golfer was the low scorer Thursday in Crossville, firing a 75 at Bear Trace to win the District 7AA tournament.
Slatton won’t be the lone WCHS golfer playing next week in the Region 4AA tournament though. The Pioneers weren‘t able to qualify as a team, but juniors Chase Newby and Sawyer Seymour were two of the five individuals who made the cut.
Newby shot 82 Thursday, while Seymour was able to get the final spot with a 95.
Coach JW Holt wanted to see Warren County fully represented at the region tournament, which will be played next Monday, Sept. 27 at Country Hills in Hendersonville, but he's at least happy Slatton could continue her strong play and his two star junior boys get at least one more round.
"There were tough conditions today, but it was tough for everybody. Lauren really came on strong on the back nine and gained some strokes back," said Holt. “I’m happy for Sawyer and Chase. I was hoping we may squeak in as the No. 2 or No. boys team, but it didn’t happen. It’ll be good for all three to get a trip to region.”
Slatton won last year's district tournament as a freshman and went into this year's competition on fire. The sophomore had won her last three school events and most expected her to be atop the leaderboard Thursday.
Even a last-minute course change (the tournament was originally scheduled for Mondy at Lake Tansi) did little to throw Slatton off her game. She won by five strokes, topping Cookeville's Daniella Pryor for the victory.
Slatton could’ve let a bad start ruin the day (she was 4-over after two holes), but she rallied to make sure she had a chance to make a run at another state bid next week.
”I think I played well considering how wet and muddy the course was. One of highlights was when I recovered from the first two bad holes and went one under the rest of the round,” said Slatton.
She flipped the switch on No. 3. Knowing it was time to get over the early struggles, Slatton bombed her longest drive of the day on the Par 5. Once she was on the green with a chance at birdie, she wasn’t going to let it go to waste. She confidently rolled in a 20-footer, sparking a great finish.
Slatton followed with a birdie on No. 4 and never looked back.
Cookeville swept the team trophies, with the Cavaliers and Lady Cavaliers taking top spots. Livingston Academy will also see both its teams going to regionals, as the LA boys placed third and the girls were second. The Stone Memorial Panthers also punched their ticket with a second-place finish on the boys side.
The top three boys teams were guaranteed a spot in the region, but Warren County also knew five individuals (who weren’t on the teams to finish top 3) would advance as well.
Newby’s spot was firmly secured with an 82, but Seymour had to sweat as scores came rolling in throughout the afternoon. By the end, he was able to tie with White County’s Jackson Young at 93 for the final two spots. Pioneer Jax King missed qualifying by two strokes.
Other Pioneer scores from Thursday include Lincoln Sain’s 110 and Chase Boley shooting 125.
BOYS TEAM SCORES
Stone Memorial 343
Livingston Academy 359
White County 372
Warren County 380
DeKalb County 478
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
Livingston Academy 182
Cumberland County 218
BOYS INDIVIDUAL TOP 10
Luke Caldwell (Cookeville) 72
Joseph Agee (Cookeville) 75
Jaxon Reed (C’land Co.) 75
Hayden Ledbetter (LA) 77
Bryson Fletcher (LA) 77
Jeremiah Gardenhire (White Co) 79
Nolan Watt (Stone) 82
Chase Newby (Warren County) 82
Rayce Boston (Stone) 84
Jakob Smith (Cookeville) 85
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL TOP 3
Lauren Slatton (Warren County) 75
Daniella Pryor (Cookeville) 80
Alison Poss (DeKalb County) 84