Sylas Elliott is looking to end his terrific prep golf career with a bang.
The Cullman senior shot a 1-under 71 at the Robert Trent Jones at Capitol Hill Legislator Course Monday afternoon to enter Day 2 of the state tournament trailing by one to Fort Payne’s Cole Skaggs and Lawrence County’s Jesse Childress.
Elliott carded four birdies — all on the front nine — and three bogeys during his Class 5A round.
“I hit the ball really well off the tee,” he said. “I did not hit as many greens as I would have liked, though. I also left putts out there that made the difference between me being where I’m at right now and leading by four shots.”
Cullman golf coach Brandon Dingler rode alongside Elliott for the duration of his round and couldn’t help but notice just how well he played on a “long and tight golf course.”
“He was in good shape most of the day,” the coach said. “He made a lot of easy pars. It was by far the hardest course we’ve played this season.”
Tuesday will be the final day Elliott represents Cullman during a golf tournament. The Wallace State signee acknowledged he would miss the program and his teammates and hopes to leave his mark on the school for years to come.
“I’ve had a great time,” he said. “Hopefully, the program will be great long after we’re gone. Tomorrow, if I can hit the ball as well as I did today and make some putts, I’m pretty sure I am going to win a state championship.”
Over in 3A, Good Hope’s Eli Marty turned in a 4-over 76 on his opening round to trail Bayside Academy's William Buhl (67) by nine shots after 18 holes.
Marty carded just one birdie — and five bogeys — on the difficult par-72 course. The three-time defending county champion and 2013 state runner-up will have his work cut out for him on Day 2 if he hopes to end his prep career with the coveted crown.
Colby Adams’s scorecard was quite the rainbow, as the Holly Pond senior carded an eagle, two birdies, four bogeys and two double bogeys over the course of his round. The senior sits at 5-over par — 10 shots out — with 18 holes to play.
Cold Springs’ Layne Rice is tied for 11th place at 3-over after carding a Day 1 total of 75. He trails St. Luke’s Spencer Arnold (2-under) by five shots in 1A-2A entering Tuesday.
Rice opened his round with a double bogey before adding two more bogeys on his outward nine. The Blue and Gold senior did right the ship, however, with a couple of easy birdies on par 5s to claw back into contention.
Fairview’s boys struggled out of the gate on Monday, posting a team score of 361 to leave the Aggies in sixth place in the 4A standings.
Trey Hanvey (82), Seth Lancaster (89), Austin Scott (92) and Hunter Whitehead (98) paced Fairview at RTJ Capitol Hill.
% The Times’ Jake Winfrey contributed to this report.