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Galax golfers continue to roll

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Tide wins two tournaments, MED opener

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 An incredibly busy week had no ill affect on the defending Group A state golf champions as Galax won two tournaments and opened district play with a win in action last week.

The Maroon Tide claimed a three-team Mountain Empire District match Thursday at Blue Ridge Country Club, topping Grayson County and Fort Chiswell. Led by a freshman and a sophomore, Galax carded a nine-hole, four-man total of 145 to breeze past the Blue Devils (183) and the Pioneers (197). Ninth-grader John Bryant and sophomore Matt Downey shared medalist honors with a pair of 1-under-par 34s while Kyle Schaeffer turned in a 37. Brock Cox, Jonathan Alouf and Travis Cockerham tied for the fourth scoring position, each shooting a 40. Grayson County was led by Tyler Rutherford’s 41. Entering two teams in the Bank of Marion Invitational on Wednesday, the Maroon Tide showed that so far, the only team that can handle Galax is Galax. The Tide took first and second place in Division II at Holston Hills Country Club. Galax A had four players shoot 78 or better to finish with a 303 while Galax B was a distant second at 330, which was still 61 strokes ahead of third-place Northwood. Downey led the way with a 73, placing second individually. Schaeffer and Cox tied for fourth in the field with a pair of 76s while Bryant carded a 78. In Division I, Marion led the way with a 311, followed by Chilhowie (338), Patrick Henry (361), John Battle (361), Grayson County (363) and Fort Chiswell (397). The week got started with the nine-team Draper Valley Prep Classic at Draper Valley Golf Club. The Maroon Tide edged Abingdon and Graham by four shots apiece to take the team win with a 309. Schaeffer led Galax and finished regulation in a three-way tie for the individual title with a 73. Abingdon’s Robert Stallard defeated teammate Jordan Patrick and Schaeffer in a playoff for the medalist’s trophy, topping Schaeffer on the second extra hole. Cox shot 75 for Galax, which got a 79 from Downey and an 82 from Eddie Hanks. Dustin Thompson also shot 79 for Galax, despite being outside the five-man first rotation.