Hannah Bratton didn’t start golf as young as some kids do, taking it up seriously near the end of her time in middle school.
She’s played three times now in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Invitational at Jackson Country Club, following up a difficult showing as a freshman with a better effort in the event as a sophomore.
Thursday, the Trinity Christian Academy junior showed her progress again with a 79 and held off South Gibson’s Sally Tiger by one stroke for the best individual score.
“Pretty nice, I’m pretty happy with it,” Bratton said Thursday night. “I think I proved myself a little bit.”
Bratton recently got a junior membership at JCC and after some thought Thursday named No. 7 and No. 1 her favorite holes. A different one was her best Thursday, though.
“I hit an awesome drive on 15. I creamed that ball!” Bratton said with satisfaction. “So that was nice.”
Despite Bratton’s work, TCA could not quite catch University School of Jackson for the team title. The Lady Bruins edged TCA 167 to 171.
“We really want to win every single tournament and do the best that we can, and that really boosts our confidence to win this first one,” USJ junior Frances New said.
New and junior Shelby Hatchett shot 83 and 84, respectively. And though her score was the team’s third best and thus didn’t count, Jill Yates shot an 86 for the fifth best individual score in the girls’ event.
The 15th hole was coincidentally New’s best effort Thursday, too, as she estimated she got to within a foot of the hole from about 100 yards out.
“Since we started this season me and Shelby are just like ‘We’re gonna win state. That’s just what we have to do.’ That’s the dream, the goal, for this season,” New said.
Hatchett didn’t think she played her best Thursday but was proud of her team. She was pleased with her work in the fairway but not with her putting, though she did note an approximately 30-footer that dropped.
“Our goal this year is to win state because we got second last year as a team, and I got fourth individually, so we’re all looking to improve there,” Hatchett said. “And we really think this is the year for us.”
Milan was third among girls’ teams with a 192. South Fulton scored 203, Lexington 214, Jackson Christian 237 and Gibson County 255.
Craig Thomas, 425-9634