The consistent lefty holed seven birdies on his way to low medalist honors with a 3-under-par 69.
“Clark played great,” Walker Valley coach Bob Williams praised. “The course was playing tough for everybody else, but he breezed right through it with his best round of the year.”
The TSSAA voted last month to move the state golf championships from Murfreesboro’s Old Fort Course to the Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchster.
“That’s one reason I wanted to get the guys over here during the season was to give them a chance to play the course,” Williams related. The Walker Valley and Bradley Central girls will play the same course in a mid-week tournament next Wednesday.
Even with four bogeys, Melton outdistanced his nearest competition by four strokes. “Only 11 guys shot in the 70s and the closest one to him shot 73,” Williams explained.
Despite Melton’s strong effort, the Mustangs only placed fourth in the 12-team tournament, seven shots off the pace set by Tullahoma at 307.
Hendersonville took second with a 308 while Notre Dame was third at 312. Walker Valley’s 314 was the best among the teams they will face in the district and region tournaments at the end of the season.
McMinn County came in sixth with a 325 while Bradley was ninth at 350.
Corey Evans and Cody Godfrey each shot 6-over 78s to give Walker Valley three of the top 12 scores on the day.
Zack Kilby rounded out the Mustang score with an 89.
“We are still looking for our No. 4 and 5 guys,” Williams explained. “We’ve had different ones step up from time to time, but we haven’t had anyone really take over on a consistent basis.”
“We had a playoff the other day to see which five players we’d bring to this tournament,” he added. “We have got to have four guys breaking 80 each time out if we are going to be able to make the state tournament.”
Wednesday’s result marked the second fourth place finish for the Mustangs this season as they opened the campaign with the same finish at the Early Bird Invitational in Cookeville.
Bradley was led by Hunter Chastain with an 84, while Casey Haney carded an 87 and Jordan Whitmire an 89. Chase Montgomery finished the Bear tally with a 90.
Both local teams will now prepare for the City Prep Tournament at Harrison Bay’s Bear Trace course next Thursday.