Staff Report

BLACKSHEAR — Two-time champion Zac Thornton returned to the winners circle for the third time in four years capturing the 72nd annual Okefenokee Invitational Sunday by four shots.

The Bristol native, who was unable to play a year ago, stretched a one-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round using a 4-under-par 68 to finish the three-day tournament at 7-under 209. Thornton opened Friday’s first round with 69 and followed with 72 Saturday.

Dalton Reese of Warrington shot 213 (72-70-71) to finish second. Ware County High School sophomore Trace Carter finished third at 217, carding rounds of 73-70-74.

Kobe Manders of Waycross captured the Championship “B” Flight by one shot over Blackshear’s Taylor Sweat. Manders shot 75-74-69—218 to break away from a four-way tie Sunday with his closing 3-under-par round. Sweat posted rounds of 73-76-70—219. Weston Sapp of Blackshear shot 72-77-73-222 to finish third.

Jay McCall of Warthen won the First Flight by two shots over WCHS golf coach Tony Wheeler. McCall shot 78-75-73—225 with Wheeler posting 75-80-72—227. Adel’s Bubba Bailey was third after rounds of 86-72-74—232.

Baxley’s Andrew Douglas captured the Second Flight following rounds of 82-81-75—238. He was followed by Cecil Thomas of Waycross (76-85-80—241) and J.D. Starling of Blackshear (87-82-73—242).

Ware County golfer Mac Dean won the Third Flight by four strokes over Blackshear’s Reese Gibson after posting rounds of 81-86-78—245. Gibson, who was tied for the lead after two rounds, shot 84-83-82—249. Josh Cave (86-85-88—259) of Blackshear was third.

The name of the Fourth Flight winner was missing from the leaderboard. Michael Bell (85-88-82—255) of Waycross finished second with Jeremy Musgrove (83-90-83—256) of Waycross third.

Donalsonville’s Michael Carr, Jr. topped the Fifth Flight on regression after finishing tied with Blackshear’s Trey Thompson. Carr fired rounds of 88-95-88—271 while Thompson carded 96-88-87—271. Thunderbolt’s Cooper Lemonds (102-85-95—282) finished third.

Rex Hill copped first-place honors in the Senior Division after opening with a one-under-par score of 71. Hill followed with rounds of 80 and 74 for a 225 score. Sam Stovall of Blackshear, the overnight leader heading into the final round, shot 75-74-79-228 to place second. Mike Ranew was third after shooting 77-79-73—229.

Ellis McNeil of Blackshear captured the Super Senior Division with rounds of 77-77-80—234. Wendall Batten finished six shots off the pace with rounds of 77-80-83—240 to finish runner-up. Gene Sapp (86-83-82—169) of Blackshear was third.

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