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St. Aloysius, Curtis finish fifth at Class AAA golf tournament

HATTIESBURG — His last chance at an elusive state championship long since gone and his high school career down to its final few shots, Channing Curtis didn’t hold anything back on the last hole of the MAIS Class AAA state tournament.

“I swung so hard at that last tee ball that my feet came off the ground. So did (playing partner Will Kidder),” Curtis said. “We both made birdie, threw our balls in the water and gave each other a hug. He’s a big buddy of mine, always has been.”

It was one last, great memory in a career full of them for Curtis. The St. Aloysius senior shot a 75 on Tuesday to tie for fifth place and helped the Flashes finish fifth in the team standings as well.

Curtis finished his high school career with four team state championships and two second-place finishes on his resumé. He never won an individual state title, but did finish second twice and was in the top 10 at the state tournament five times in five years.

Although he’ll likely play a lot of competitive rounds in the future on a recreational level, Tuesday’s tournament at Hattiesburg Country Club was his last with a team. Curtis signed with Meridian Community College last fall but has since decided to attend school at Ole Miss.

“I think I have had a pretty good run. I won my fair share,” Curtis said. “I still haven’t processed that that was my last time being on a team since I’m not going to Meridian. I had to hold back tears all the way down that last hole.”

Curtis’ round of 75 was solid, as was the performance of his teammates. Wilson Palmertree shot an 81, Trace Daily an 84, Joshua Larsen and Brandon Teller 89s, and Joseph Cranfield a 101. Added together, the team score of 329 was St. Al’s best this season.

It just wasn’t enough to keep pace with several other players and teams that also turned in spectacular rounds.
North Delta’s Kidder took medalist honors by shooting a 67. Heritage won the Class AAA team championship with a score of 307, and North Delta was only two strokes back in second place at 309.

Central Hinds was third, with a score of 325, and was followed by Silliman Institute (327) and St. Al (329).

“I played OK. The putts didn’t fall like I wanted and I had a couple of errant shots here and there, but overall it wasn’t a bad round,” Curtis said. “We got beat by outstanding rounds of golf. When we shoot our best score of the season, leave all the effort on the course and still come up short, then all we can do is congratulate whoever beat us. Everyone put out a good round and the effort was there. It’s just tough to put up 307.”