MANCHESTER — Brentwood sophomore Trenton Johnson and Clarksville senior Mariah Smith captured TSSAA Class AAA state golf titles on Wednesday at WillowBrook Golf Club.
Smith also helped the Lady Wildcats claim the team title.
Johnson was attempting to help the Bruins repeat as state champion, but they faded after trailing Knoxville Halls by just two strokes entering Wednesday.
Halls won the title on the second hole of a playoff with Science Hill. Both shot 583 to force a playoff.
Tullahoma placed third, Brentwood fourth and Wilson Central was fifth.
“You come here as a team, and you want to win as a team,” Johnson said. “But it’s nice to get the individual. Over the past year, I tried to make my golf game grow as much as possible.”
Johnson (68-71) finished two strokes better than Knoxville Halls’ Alex Hodge and Ryan Hall, a South Carolina commitment.
Johnson birdied three of the final four holes.
“I was tied with my playing partner (Hodge) going into 18,” Johnson said. “I knew I had to beat him.”
Hendersonville junior Bryce Lewis (72-70) and Franklin junior Michael Shears (76-66) tied for fourth place.
Shears’ round of 66 on Wednesday was tied for seventh best in state tournament history.
Clarksville’s girls won with a 295 for the program’s third state title over the past six years. Coffee County was second, 11 shots behind the Lady Wildcats.
“We played well,” Smith said. “We had a three-stroke lead coming into today. We definitely wanted to increase the lead. We came out here and played our best golf.”
Smith — a Tennessee commitment — finished one stroke better than Brighton senior Aubree Jones, a Mississippi State commitment who had a one-stroke lead on Smith entering the final round. Smith’s five-under-par total of 139 (71-68) is tied for the third lowest in state tournament history.
Franklin County junior Malia Stovall — another Tennessee commitment — placed fourth (73-70).
The top four golfers — including third-place Addie Baggarly (a Florida commitment who plays for Tennessee High) — have committed to SEC programs.
“My goal all of high school has been to win it,” Smith said. “It took until the last year. It was a little nerve-racking, but whatever it takes.”
Reach Craig Harris at 615-259-8238 and on Twitter @CHTennessean.
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