The Graham golf team finished the first day of the two-day Group A state tournament on Monday in third place among the eight-school field, and not ready to be counted out yet.

With the G-Men 15 shots behind Galax, head coach Matt Dixon said, “We did a good job putting ourselves into position today, to give us a chance. We’re going to go out [Tuesday] and shoot a low round and we have a chance.

“We don’t have a lot of pressure. We’re the hunters instead of being the hunted.”

On the par-70 Heritage Oaks course, sophomore Zack Toohey had the best score for Graham, a 73, followed by Morgan Brewster (76) and Ben Taylor (77). Ben Ramsey and Brad Yost both shot 83s on Monday.

Dixon said about Toohey, “He hit a lot of fairways and his short game was really on. He made a lot of birdies and managed the golf course really well.”

The Graham total of 309 trails Galax (294) and a newly-consolidated school, Union (306). The medalists for the day were John Bryant of Galax and Jake Perkins of Appomatox, who both shot a 4-under par 66.

“It was a good golf course and we played pretty well,” Dixon said. “There were a lot of shots that we lost out there today, but our spirits are up. We know we have to do a litte better and we’ll strive to do that tomorrow.”

He said after the Graham contingent finished its first round, “We waited around to see what the scores were, and we saw we were in a pretty good position. Then we went out and got some dinner.” A team meeting preceded bedtime, he added.

He said the G-Men are still confident.

“We know we’ve got a good team,” he said. “We can’t put pressure on ourselves.”

Graham is scheduled to tee off today “at about 9 o’clock,” he said. Rain is possible for the final 18-hole round.

“We’ll hope to get it in — and shoot a good round tomorrow,” Dixon said.

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Group A State Tournament

Team Scores

Galax 294, Union 306, Graham 309, William Monroe 310, Appomattox 311, North Umberland 351, Central Wise 352, King William 405.

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