Ben Griffin fired a brilliant four-under par 68 on Monday to grab a three-stroke lead in the 77th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A men’s golf championships at Pinehurst number eight.

            The championship is being contested on a par-72 layout set at 6,698 yards for the NCHSAA event.

            Griffith, who tied for 10th in last year’s tournament, is three shots ahead of Northwest Guilford’s Drew Johnson and has a four-shot lead over a trio of golfers, including Seth Gandy of Cornelius Hough, Luke Thalman of Charlotte Myers Park and Josh Martin of Southern Pines Pinecrest.

            Defending champion Stephen Saleeby of Raleigh Broughton, a sophomore this year, is in a group tied for 13th, six shots back.

            Pinecrest, with four players shooting 73 or better, tallied a 291 to hold a six-shot lead in the team standings over Charlotte Myers Park at 297.  Hough is in third at 299 and defending team champ Broughton fourth at 303. The best four of six individual scores count toward the team total.

            A Wake County school has won the men’s 4-A team golf title 18 times in the last 27 years, including the last four in a row. Pinecrest is the last non-Wake County school to win, taking the title in 2008.

            Prior to 1986, all NCHSAA schools competed for a single title in an open tournament. Play went to three classifications in 1986 and then to four classes beginning with the 1998 tournaments.

            A total of 84 golfers began play in the two-day tournament. Action is scheduled to resume at 7:30 on Tuesday morning.





Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, Pinehurst number eight—Monday’s Results



Southern Pines Pinecrest           291

Charlotte Myers Park                 297

Cornelius Hough                        299

Raleigh Broughton                     303

Raleigh Leesville Road               304

Durham Riverside                      312

Northwest Guilford                     315

Winston-Salem RJ Reynolds      316

Fayetteville Terry Sanford           318

Indian Trail Porter Ridge             319