SALTILLO – Jacob Kight sank a 65-foot birdie putt on the final hole Thursday at Big Oaks to give Nanih Waiya a one-stroke victory over Tupelo Christian Prep and an MHSAA Class 1A golf state championship.
“I didn’t have a clue we needed the putt to win,” Kight said. “Good thing I didn’t know that was to win. I would have probably missed it.
“I missed 3-foot and 4-foot putts all day. To make that last one was huge.”
Nanih Waiya, which recorded a 669 score, and TCPS at 670, were tied at 338 going into the chilly, breezy final round.
Tournament host TCPS was the defending 1A state champion.
Kight “just made a fantastic putt,” TCPS coach Grant Smallwood said. “We really knew it was going to be close. We didn’t know how much up or down. It came down to that putt.
“I’m proud of our guys. Nanih Waiya has stepped up and improved this year. Kudos to them.”
Kight, a sophomore, won state medalist honors for the second consecutive season, recorded a 36-hole total of 1-over-par 74-71 – 145. He defeated TCPS freshman Jackson Mills by six strokes – 75-76 – 151. Mills’ teammate, Parker Brooks, was third overall with a 79-74 –153.
“(Kight’s) putt was a little heartbreaking,” Mills said. “It will be on my mind for about a year, but I’m hoping to get ‘em next year.”
Kight said winning as a team was more satisfying than winning his individual title.
“Just to celebrate as a team … it’s awesome,” he said.
Nanih Waiya and TCPS were the lone schools competing for the team championship this season. The MHSAA will combine 1A and 2A next season to beef up the fields.
“The divisions have been re-aligned,” Smallwood said. “It will be a great deal for us to compete locally. We don’t have to wait until the state level. It’s a great change, but not quite as easy. But, that’s not a bad thing, either.”