State Golf Championship Start Monday, Pinecrest in 4-A Field
The best high school golfers in the state are descending on Moore County Monday and Tuesday.
And they're coming here with the intentions of proving just who is the best: both individually and team-wise.
The flood of golfers are in town for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's state championships. Or for at least three of four state championships conducted by the NCHSAA. The 4-A schools will tackle Pinehurst No. 6, while the 3-A golfers are competing over at Foxfire Resort and Golf. The 2-A competitors have tee times slated for Longleaf Golf and Country Club.
All the courses will be set up to play at approximately 6,500 yards and to a par 72.
The 1-A championship is set for Keith Hills in Lillington.
Locally, Pinecrest won its second consecutive East Region Monday held at Riverwood Country Club in Clayton with a score of 294, earning a slot in the 4-A championship field. Green Hope is the three-time defending champions, a team that outdistanced the second-place finishing Patriots last year by 29 strokes.
The Patriots have a veteran senior-laden team, and coach Sandy Sackmann knows her players will have to play their best to derail Green Hope, who won the Mid-East Regional Monday with a four-person team score of 287.
"We are going to at least finish under par to win the championship," she said last week.
Pinecrest was led Monday by senior Russell Burke, who claimed medalist honors with a two-under-par 70. UNC-bound Jack Fields finished second with a one-under 71. Sam Packard, Patrick Barrett, John Gillespie and Justin Evans all finished with scores in the 70s.
In the 3-A event at Foxfire, Robert Hoadley of Union Pines is entered as an individual. The junior will be hoping to duplicate his feat of last season when as a sophomore he won the state individual title.
"I feel really good going into this event," Hoadley said, "and hopefully everything comes out well."
There are no local players or teams in the 2-A event.
The top three teams from each of four regionals advanced to the championships, along with the top-three finishing individuals not on one of the qualifying teams. Each team has six golfers competing, with the top-four scores counting in the team total.
The O'Neal School, the defending independent schools 2-A champions, has to take to the road to defend its title. The Falcons finished second in the Triad Conference tournament by one stroke. The Falcons will be trying to repeat last season's championship at Bayonet at Puppy Creek in Raeford. The two-day event starts Monday.
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