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DHS's Putman, Rausch advance to region tourney

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dyersburg's James Putman advanced at the district tournament and will represent DHS at the Region 7 A-AA tournament being held at the Farms on Monday, Oct.1 beginning at 9 a.m.
As host of the District 14 A-AA golf tournament, Dyersburg was hoping to use the home-course advantage to secure its third straight tournament title on Monday at the Farms.

Excellent weather and stellar course conditions appeared to be the right recipe for success for all involved. Unfortunately, the Trojan boys team never got on track as the team finished fourth overall, 15 strokes behind tournament champion Gibson County.

Trojan golf coach Randy Coffman was left scratching his head when the tournament was complete, not fully being able to understand why the 18-hole scores on the day for the majority of the field were well above average.

Dyersburg's Erin Rausch (r) also advanced to the Region 7 A-AA tournament on Monday, Oct.1 beginning at 9 a.m.
"I don't know what happened to the field out there today, but when you have temps at 75 and not a cloud in the sky you have to go out and perform and we just fell a little short," said Coffman.

The top three teams earned berths at next week's Region 7A-AA tourney. By finishing fourth the Trojans will miss the region tournament for the first time since 2003 and only the second time in the last 15 years.

Coffman attributed the somewhat down season on losing two key players from last year's squad in Sam Shankle and Walt Carter, and the fact some younger players had to step into major roles they may have not been fully ready to embrace.

"I think our kids were put in new roles and they weren't accustomed to playing at the No.1 or No.2, but this was a good year for us overall," added Coffman. "The bottom line is that you want to be playing your best at the end and I think some of our kids would like to have some swings back."

Gibson County won the tournament with a team total of 340, while the Trojans finished with a team score of 355.

James Putman ended the round with top honors for Dyersburg, carding an 86 to finish 17th overall and advance to next week's Region 7A-AA tourney, also being held at the Farms. The medalist for the tournament was Gibson County's Austin Brewer, who carded an 18-hole total of 1-over par 73.

If Putman can put together a solid round on Monday, the next stop is the TSSAA state tournament in Nashville. Coffman believes the junior has as good a chance as anybody.

"James can walk out there and shoot 78, I really believe that. He has to improve by five or six shots and he'll have a good chance of going to state," said Coffman.

While the Trojan boys struggled, the lone girls entrant from DHS secured a spot in the region tournament along side Putman.

Freshman Erin Rausch tied a personal best on Monday, carding a 95 while playing with eventual tournament medalist Mollie Stone of Union City. Stone finished her round with a 79, winning top honors at the tournament for the second straight year.

Coffman believes the sky's the limit for Rausch, and also believes she has a chance to advance past the region tournament and ultimately end her season at the state tournament as well.

"Erin's close, she really is. She's yet to be able to put it all together in a tournament format, but she's scored in the 80s during several practice rounds," added Coffman. "She's still learning to handle the pressure and she should be still learning as a freshman, but she has unlimited potential and she has a great chance to advance next week."

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