A.C. Flora High School (SC) and Golfweek’s top-ranked junior, Preston Stout, claimed team and individual titles in final-round play of the recent 2023 Palmetto High School Golf Championships at True Blue Golf Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and nearby Tradition Golf Club.
Paced by four golfers firing under- or even-par final rounds at True Blue (Adam Hunt -4, Charles Cauthen -3, Thomas Lamar -2 and Coleman Ferguson E), A.C. Flora claimed the team title in its first-ever Palmetto appearance. Their 2-under final team tally placed them seven shots clear of second-place Forsyth Country Day School’s (NC) A team, and eight shots ahead of Marvin Ridge (NC).
Stout, from J.J. Pearce High School in Texas, won the individual competition with a three-round tally of 15-under, seven strokes better than Forsyth Country Day’s Kyle Haas and eight strokes clear of A.C. Flora’s Lamar.
Stout’s victory marked the second time in as many months that the nation’s top player in either the Golfweek or Rolex American Junior Golf Association rankings had claimed victory in a major Myrtle Beach-area tournament. Stout, an Oklahoma State signee, joined top Rolex AJGA player and Auburn signee Jackson Koivun (Chapel Hill, N.C.), who claimed the boys’ title in March at the 2023 Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach.
The Palmetto is a 54-hole, collegiate-style tournament that has grown in demand and popularity to attract teams from six states and Canada, spanning the continent from the Carolinas to Texas to California. Past participants include such PGA TOUR stars as Rickie Fowler and Harris English, with this year’s field loaded with young talent that looks to someday join them at the highest level.
For the eighth consecutive year, players competed at the Grand Strand’s beautiful Mike Strantz designs at Caledonia and True Blue. With a field expansion from 32 to 48 teams, Tradition Golf Club was added to the mix – giving players and teams a three-course challenge to conquer over the course of Easter Weekend in pursuit of this coveted title.