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Boutwell, Bendall, Murray all crack Top 5 at state tournament; Golden Tigers finish second overall

Russellville had three players finish in the Top 5 at this week's state tournament at Robert Trent Jones in the Shoals, but the Golden Tigers couldn't match two sub-300 rounds by St. Paul's and settled for a second-place finish.

RHS freshman Eric Boutwell shot a sizzling four-under 68 on Monday at Fighting Joe, edging Will McFadden of St. Paul's by one stroke for the best round of the day. Boutwell slipped to 77 on Tuesday but still finished the tournament second overall at 145, five strokes back of McFadden.

"He's so talented," Russellville coach Patrick Odom said of Boutwell, already in his third season as a varsity golfer for the Golden Tigers.

Russellville juniors Brayden Bendall and Jaceton Murray also finished in the Top 5 this week. Bendall shot 76-74 to finish third overall at 150, and Murray's total of 152 (74-78) was good enough for fifth place, one stroke behind Kyle Cornelius of St. Paul's.

The Saints shot a team total of 299 on Monday, but Boutwell's low round of 68 kept the Golden Tigers in the hunt at 308. St. Paul's had an even better second day, shooting 297 to finish at 596 and run away with the tournament title and a Blue Map.

"That's tough to match," Odom said. "But I'm proud of our guys."

Russellville shot 316 on Tuesday and finished at 624, holding off Briarwood Christian (627) for second place. Scottsboro, the sub-state champion out of the North, shot 666 at state and finished fourth.

Lucas McNutt, another junior, rounded out Russellville's scoring with a two-day total of 177 (90-87).


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