The heavily-favored Good Hope Raiders showed a little bit of vulnerability on Wednesday.

In the Raiders' final match before next week's Cullman County golf tournament, the Fairview Aggies played them to a 316-316 tie at Chesley Oaks golf course.

Nathan Brown led Good Hope with a 73, to finish as the match's low medalist, but Fairview followed up with the next three lowest individual scores.

"This is tremendous for us," said Fairview coach Marty Hardman. "It shows the guys that we can compete as a team and get our scores down in this range."

Entering the final five holes of the 18-hole match, Brown and Fairview's Cody Shedd were all tied up. But Brown birdied and Shedd pared hole No. 5, giving the Raider sophomore an advantage he wouldn't relinquish.

But Shedd and teammate Al Young were both able to post scores of 76, while Derek McElroy delivered the big blow to Good Hope with a 78.

Cody Calvert was able to match McElroy's 78 for Good Hope, but teammates Caleb Neighbors and Kyle Schuman each struggled, posting scores of 81 and 84, respectively.

Needing an 86 to tie Good Hope, Fairview No. 5 golfer Blake Ray delivered on the mark in what could be considered one of the biggest upsets of the local golf season so far.

"This was our best day as a team by far this year," said Shedd.

Good Hope coach Danny Welborn said this could be what his team needed, with every county team pegging them as the favorites for the two-day tournament which begins Monday.

"Hopefully today was a wake-up call for us," Welborn said. "A 316 is better than anything we shot last year, but this group can do a lot better that. I just think we took too many chances today and didn't play smart golf. It looks like we need to improve in all phases of the game."

Despite playing Good Hope to a tie on the same course the county tournament will be held on, Hardman said he still thinks the Raiders are the favorites entering the event.

"We will have to play even better than we did today if we want to beat them," Hardman said. "I think the 18 holes helped us today, because the guys realized they didn't have to press to beat them in nine holes. But Good Hope will be ready to go next week, so I think they are still the favorites."

But Welborn disagreed, saying the county is very balanced this season.

"The kids around the county are talking about us being the favorites, but I don't think that is right" Welborn explained. "I think today showed how balanced the county is and if we are the best team, we still have to prove it on the course."

The Cullman County tournament will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Chesley Oaks.

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