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Clark and Blanton place at Shootout
Left to right: Jared Barclay, Bradley Durand, Jack Clark posing with their trophies after placing in the junior shootout.

Two North Georgia natives represented their state with top-notch performances at the Nashville Junior Shootout at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee this past weekend.

Jack Clark, 18 of Breselton, Georgia and Annika Blanton, 15 of Dacula placed third and second respectively at the tournament.

The tournament began on May 24 and concluded May 25. Both days were set with a sunny backdrop and a slight breeze to the tune of highs of 83 and 87 respectively.

There was nothing but drama in the boys’ 15-18 division. It came down to the final day when every player brought out their best, as the overall scoring average dropped from Saturday to Sunday — 81.3 to 79.7 — respectively.

Bradley Durand of Oak Ridge, Tennessee shot a 145 after two rounds of play. Durand edged Jared Barclay of Weston, Florida by one stroke. Barclay shot a 146 after two rounds and both players recorded eight birdies in the tournament.

Following just behind Durand and Barclay was Clark, who putted a two-day total of 150. Clark shot a 77 on Saturday and followed it up with a stronger 73 on Sunday.

“On the first day I started out really strong. Missed a few birdie putts,” Clark said. “I was actually one-under with three to play and I doubled 16 and had a quad on 18 and ended up dropping six shots in the last three holes.”

“In the final round I actually had a slower start than the first day. I really held it together on the back nine, made a few birdies on 10 and 11. Made a birdie on 12 and doubled on 13,” Clark said. “I really learned from my mistakes the day before.”

The air was ripe for redemption on Sunday for the girls 15-18 division as well.

Bethany Bums from Signal Mountain, Tennessee did manage to squeak out a victory by shooting a 163 through two rounds. Bums shot an 85 on the first day, just to follow that up with a 78 on the second.

Blanton had some work to do, if she was going to stay in the top three.

“I went in knowing what I had to do to get back to the leader,” Annika said. “I felt pretty good. I’m hitting good I played up to my potential it felt good.”

Blanton, who just moved up from the 11-14 division, tied with Hannah Berman of Vedra Beach, Florida for second place, as they shot a 164. Blanton recorded her first birdie of the tournament on the 10th hole in round two. Blanton had nine bogeys and two double bogeys on Saturday.

“The second day she realized she left a lot of shots out there on the course. She was determined to turn that score around and shoot low to stay in that top three,” Andrew Blanton, Annika Blanton’s father, said.

“I was nervous. I’m always nervous when I’m in the leading group and I’m nervous that I might (mess up) but I just played to my potential,” Annika Blanton said.

Berman rebounded from a bad start on day one, as she posted a 72 on Sunday after posting a 92 on Saturday.

In the boys’ 11-14 division, Jacob Lecroy from Anniston, Alabama shot a 144 to win his division.

Players competed for Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, All-Hurricane Junior Golf Tour teams and the Hurricane Cup. Winners in each division received automatic bids to the Mid-Season Invitational, June 22-24 and the 2014 Tour Championship, Dec. 6-7.