ODESSA — Much like fellow left-hander Phil Mickelson, Plant senior Doug Letson had spent recent autumns acquiring a stigma that seemed both flattering and annoying: best golfer never to win a district title.
Today, neither lefty is burdened with any such label. With equal parts grace and guile, Letson navigated the abundance of wind and water hazards Monday at Silver Dollar Golf Club to claim individual medalist honors at the Class 2A, District 10 tournament.
District runnerup the previous three seasons, Letson finished 1-over-par 72 to help guide the Panthers (315) to their fourth consecutive district team title. His round included four birdies, five bogeys and two brilliant recoveries on the back nine.
"Finally," said Panthers junior Charles Silverfield, who placed fifth at last season's state tourney and tied for fourth Monday with 79. "It's just great to see him break through, and it's always great having him on my team."
Letson remained unflappable during his turbulent back nine.
His tee shot on the par-4 14th sailed into the woods and resulted in a penalty stroke, but he hit the ensuing shot on the green to salvage bogey. He took another penalty on the par-5 16th after his second shot went into water, but he chipped his fifth shot to within 3 feet of the green for bogey.
Chamberlain and Gaither tied for second with totals of 335 to join Plant at next Monday's Region 4 tournament at Wentworth Golf Club in Tarpon Springs.
At Silver Dollar
Team scores: Plant 315 (George Letson 72, Charles Silverfield 79, George Hodges 81, Jonathon Franklin 83), Chamberlain 335 (Gary Buffington 74, Skyler Estes 87, Trevor Joseph 86, Brett Blair 88), Gaither 335 (Joshua Black 76, Chad Olson 83, Gregory Tabor 85, Axel Andrup 91), Alonso 346, Sickles 355, Hillsborough 365, Jefferson 439, Blake 472
Top 3 individuals (not on top 3 teams): Ryan Stone, Alonso 79; Kody Tibbetts, Alonso 80; Anthony Kuhn, Sickles 85