Brian Richards did not start his round in the Region 1-2A golf championship in any sort of special way.
But it sure ended that way.
Richards, a Gulf Breeze High senior, who won this event as a freshman, made it a bookend of memories by producing a 1-under par 71 and led his teammates to a fourth consecutive team title in the Region 1-2A Tournament at the Bay Point Golf Resort in Panama City.
“Just being able to do this in my last time makes it special,” said Richards as the team traveled back to Gulf Breeze. “And for us a team to win four in a row, going out with a win, it’s just awesome.”
Gulf Breeze finished with a 307 total that included Nolan Remig shooting a 76, Jackson Reeves with a 79 and Luke Ellis with an 81.
West Florida High finished second with a 315 total and will join Gulf Breeze as the Northwest Florida region representatives at the Class 2A state tournament on Nov. 1-2 at the Mission Inn and Resort near Orlando.
The Jaguars were led by Cameron Bonner’s 76 and Noah Stachowicz (77).
Richards, who played in the U.S. Amateur in August, began his round with a pair of bogeys. But he turned things around with an eagle on the par-5 No. 6 on the Nicklaus design course at Bay Point. He hit a driver, 4-iron and sank about a 15-foot putt for the eagle.
“It got me even on the front nine and I was feeling good,” said Richards, who also won the Byron Nathan Tournament earlier this season, which is one of four 18-hole events on the area boys golf schedule prior to the state tourney.
He then made birdies on No. 17 and No. 18 to become the only player to finish under par.
Pace High’s John Cobb, who won the District 1-2A Tournament last week at Stonebrook Golf Club, was involved in a four-player playoff for the second qualifying spot as individual, but Fort Walton Beach’s Chase Hurt won the playoff.
The rest of region golf will be decided on Tuesday with the Region 1-2A Girls competing on the Meadows Course at Bay Point in Panama City, while the Region 1A boys and girls teams and players will compete at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Club.
Region 1-2A Boys Tournament
At Bay Point Resort (Nicklaus Course), Panama City
TOP TEAMS — Gulf Breeze 307, West Florida High 315, Panama City-Mosley 322, Pace 329, Fort Walton Beach High 392.
GULF BREEZE — Brian Richards 71, Nolan Remig 76, Jackson Reeves 79, Luke Ellis 81, RJ Philips 82.
WEST FLORIDA HIGH — Colby Goodwin 80, Cameron Bonner 76, Ty Augler 85, Chase O’Conner 82, Noah Stachowicz 77.
PACE — John Cobb 75, Jimbo Stephens 91, Angus Bates 88, Alex Pippin 84.
Milton opens 1-7A with win
The Milton Panthers cruised to a 3-0 win over Escambia in the opening round of the District 1-7A volleyball tournament on Monday.
The Panthers will now take on the no. 1 seed Washington Wildcats today in the second round of the tournament.
McKensie Stevenson led Milton with 8 kills, 2 blocks and 1 ace, while Skylair Fortner had 5 kills, 3 digs and 1 ace.
At Washington High
Milton beat Pine Forest 3-0
25-16, 25-22, 25-7
Milton – Jez Vandanbeele: 3 Kills, 2 Digs, 2 Aces; McKensie Stevenson: 8 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace; Ashley Matthews: 12 Assists, 2 Digs, 1 Kill, 1 Ace; Hayley Cauley: 2 Kills, 2 Blocks; Meagan Hodge: 7 Assists; Rachel Thomas: 5 Kills, 4 Digs, 1 Ace; Mallory Bramel: 2 Digs, 1 Kill; Skylair Fortner: 5 Kills, 3 Digs, 1 Ace; Georgia Farless: 3 Digs, 1 Kill; Briana Fortner: 2 Digs; Gabrean Grundin: 3 Aces; Riley Kirby: 1 Dig; Caroline Worrell: 4 Aces, 1 Dig. Next – Milton plays Washington in second round of 1-7A tournament.
Ingram to appear on ESPN Pensacola
New Orleans Saints tailback Mark Ingram will be a guest on the ESPN Pensacola Sports Roundtable show with Paul Chestnutt and Charlie Ward.
The show runs from 11 a.m. until noon on FM 101.1 and AM 1450. Ingram is scheduled to be on in the first segment of the show at 11 a.m.