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BIG STONE GAP –– Like father, like brother.
The VHSL Group A golf championship? It’s all in the Bryant family.
Galax senior John Bryant became the third member of his household to win the state title as he fired a 1-under-par 70 to score a seven-stroke victory at Lonesome Pine Country Club.
Bryant’s feat matched that of older brother, Sam, who won the 2005 Group A crown. Together, the Bryant brothers have as many first-place medals as their father, Doug, who captured titles in 1975 and 1977 for old Independence High.
One family, four championships.
“It feels great,” the Galax golfer said. “It’s what I’ve been practicing for my whole life. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Bryant carded a 27-hole total of 104 as rain limited Monday’s first round to nine holes. The effort was more than enough to outdistance runner-up Gunar Frazier of Giles, who finished at 111 after a second-round 71.
Counting an opening-round 34, Bryant shot the best score on each day on the hilly Wise County layout.
“We’ve played together for the past four or five years,” Frazier said. “I’m good friends with John. I think he’s a great guy. I wish him all the best.”
While Bryant became the eighth player from a Region C school to win the individual tournament in the last 10 years, Timesland was denied a team title.
Region B champ William Monroe grabbed the gold, shooting a two-day score of 491. The Dragons finished four strokes ahead of first-day leader James River (495).
Bryant, who started his round on the back nine, had no trouble around the green. The Galax golfer seemingly made every putt, beginning with an 18-footer for a birdie 3 on his 10th hole.
“I felt like I could make about anything out there,” he said. “Inside 15 feet, I felt like it was going in. I started putting well yesterday and just got all kinds of confidence.”
Floyd County junior Amanda Hollandsworth had designs on winning the championship, which would have matched the 2004 title her sister, Jessica, won at Lonesome Pine.
Hollandsworth, the starting center on Floyd’s girls basketball team, couldn’t play defense Tuesday. She watched as Bryant drained putt after putt like an opponent icing a game from the free throw line.
“I said in the beginning if I don’t get it, I hope he gets it,” she said. “He deserved it. It showed out there that he wanted it more than anyone. When we started the back nine, after the third hole I just went downhill. My putting left me. He made every putt.”
Hollandsworth shot a 3-over-par 74 and finished tied for third place with Logan Yates of William Monroe at 113.
No one was catching Bryant on Tuesday.
Frazier made a brief run with four straight birdies on his front nine on holes 3-6. However, a double bogey on No. 9 unhinged his hopes but did not dim his go-for-broke effort.
“Ride the horse till she bucks you or you don’t ride her at all,” Frazier said. “That’s a ‘Tin Cup’ quote.
“I wasn’t really playing conservative. I was trying to make birdies and make putts. I was really pleased. There were not too many things I could have done better. I had some bad breaks, but I had more good breaks than I had bad breaks.”
Bryant, who finished third in Group A last fall, left his driver in the bag most of the day. His third hole of the day -- No. 12 on the scorecard -- produced a rare bogey.
“My brother, when he played here, he made a 10 on that hole,” Bryant said. “That crossed through my mind. I was able to get out of there with a bogey. I hit a lot of irons off the tee today. I was hitting my irons really well, which gave me wedges into the greens. I stuck with my game plan all the way through, laying up when I needed to lay up.”
All that’s left for Bryant is to put up his medal. Doug Bryant said he’s not sure where his two VHSL first-place awards are located.
“I’ve actually never even seen my dad’s,” John Bryant said. “I guess I’ll just hang mine up in my room.”
VHSL Group A Championship
Lonesome Pine C.C., par-71
John Bryant, Galax34-70—104
Gunar Frazier, Giles40-71—111
Amanda Hollandsworth, Floyd39-74—113
Logan Yates, W.Monroe38-75—113
Taylor Hall, Va. High43-73—116
A.J. Knick, Chatham39-77—116
Korey Watts, J.River37-79—116
N. Hildebrand, Buffalo Gap41-77—118
Conrad Thacker, Holston38-80—118
Kory Wilson, Giles38-80—118
Austin Batten, W.Monroe44-76—120
Nick England, Central-Wise39-81—120
Josiah Singleton, W.Campbell40-80—120
Luke Humprhies, Riverheads45-76—121
Tyler Barlow, Nottoway46-76—122
Jason Bell, W.Monroe39-84—123
Clay Cantrell, Lebanon43-80—123
Ryan Hyatt, Va. High37-86—123
Trevor Statome, J.River44-81—123
Dylan Dunn, Rappahannock43-81—124
Austin Fox, Glenvar43-81—124
Hunter Thompson, J.River44-80—124
Sam Back, Randolph-Henry41-84—125
Colton Hayden, Lancaster38-88—126
Zac Mullins, Central-Wise45-81—126
Mark Adams, K.William41-86—127
Ryan Baughn, Essex44-83—127
Andrew Good, S.Jackson42-85—127
Larkin Gross, Essex42-85—127
Aaron Hix, Va. High46-81—127
Austin Robbins, Northwood49-79—128
Weston Snyder, Riverheads41-87—128
Graham Dillon, G.Wythe47-82—129
Luke Arney, J.River44-86—130
Alex Nelson, Lancaster44-86—130
Jordan Curry, K.William49-82—131
Skyler Reed, Gate City48-83—131
Patrick Francis, Essex50-82—132
Sean Kessler, J.River45-87—132
Derrick Lee, Va. High45-87—132
Cody Large, Central-Wise43-90—133
Carter Morgan, Essex47-86—133
Kyle Bishop, Riverheads44-91—135
Jared Shifflett, W.Monroe49-86—135
Jacob Hudson, Giles45-91—136
Michael Leonard, Lebanon43-93—136
Daniel Clarke, Essex52-85—137
Bill Coffin, Riverheads52-85—137
M. Harris, Northumberland47-92—139
Travis Lipscomb, K.William44-95—139
Dayton Carpenter, Riverheads48-92—140
Ryan Mullins, Central-Wise47-93—140
Jackson Murray, K.William53-87—140
Shonn Branham, Central-Wise50-91—141
Kyle Chafin, Giles49-92—141
Jake Leonard, Lebanon43-98—141
Aaron Atkins, J.River49-93—142
Yancey Harrison, W.Monroe50-92—142
Dakota Grizzel, Castlewood51-92—143
Chase Reid, K.William50-93—143
B. Chisenhall, Central-Wise58-86—144
Mark Jackson, Riverheads50-94—144
Hunter Carbaugh, Giles49-100—149
C. Herbert, Rappahannock51-98—149
Grant Scarboro, Franklin54-95—149
Douglas Good, Giles62-88—150
Nick Wind, Essex57-94—151
Zach Walker, K.William61-94—155
Ty McReynolds, Va. High64-112—176
Ben Slagle, Va. High66-114—180
Ben Bohlman, W.MonroeDNP-93
Nathan March, W.Monroe93-DNP