Pinecrest Girls Finish Second in State 4-A Golf
It’s wait until next year for the Pinecrest girls’ golf team.
The Patriots had to settle for second place at the NCHSAA 4-A State Championship after first-day leader Ardrey Kell put together an even stronger final round on Tuesday at Pinehurst No. 6. Junior Savannah Thompson led the Patriots with a second round 80, junior Gabby Weiss posted an 81 and senior Haley Robinson came in with an 88.
Emily Stinson shot a 76 and Allyson Markiewicz shot a 77 to help the Charlotte area school increase the four-shot advantage over the Patriots it took into the second day to 11. Green Hope finished in third place, three strokes behind the Patriots and Reagan came in fourth.
Individually, Weiss finished in a tie for fifth place after scores of 76-81—157. Thompson tied for 13th after rounds of 83-80—163. Robinson posted scores of 93-88—181.
Sarah Bae of Athens Drive, 78-74—152, and Ashley Osiecki of New Bern, 79-73—152, posted the lowest individual scores. Bae won the individual title with a birdie on the second playoff hole.
“They all went out with a great attitude to win,” Patriot coach Jennifer Kearney said of her players, including sophomore Catherine Cirigliano. “It was cold, it was a rough day. Sometimes they (putts) fall and sometimes they don’t.”
Weiss, who shot a 76 on the first day to tie with two others for the individual lead, and Thompson, both had trouble with the flat stick. Weiss counted up 40 putts for her round.
“That’s horrible, I’ve never had 40 putts,” the medalist at the Central Regional said. “I was hitting good putts a lot of the time and they would go right over the hole.”
Like Weiss, Thompson felt she did pretty well from tee to green.
“I felt warmer today, but I couldn’t putt,” she said. “I guess it was just one of those days. We had a chance, but there were a couple of holes that messed us up.”
After shooting a 93 the first day, Robinson was determined to get back into the 80s and accomplished that with an 88 in her final match for the Patriots. Her average score in conference matches of 85.4 this season was almost 10 strokes better than a year ago.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said of her golf career at Pinecrest. “I made some of my best friends in Savannah, Catherine and Gabby. It’s definitely been a learning experience. It taught me patience and it taught me you have to work hard to improve.
“It will definitely help me later in life and golf is something you can play forever.”
Except for Robinson, all of the Patriots that competed at No. 6, should be back for another try next year. They are looking forward to Elizabeth Nguyen, an eighth grader at West Pine Middle School, who finished third at the state middle school championships in late September, bringing her game to the team.
Cirigliano, who did not play as well in the postseason as she did in conference matches, talked about what she took from her second regional and state tournament experiences.
“Probably to just focus on the shot at hand and not think about what I have to do on the hole to reach a good score,” she said. “I’m looking forward to next year. I’ll definitely be improved by then. I’m going to make sure of that.”
Top-five team scores (based on three scores): Ardrey Kell 248-242-490, Pinecrest 252-249-501, Green Hope 250-254-504, Reagan 255-253-508, New Bern 273-256-529. Top 10 individuals and ties: Sarah Bae (AD) 79-73-152, Ashley Osiecki (NB) 78-74-152, Meghan Symonds (GH) 76-79-155, Hannah Craven (REAG) 79-76-155, Gabby Weiss (PC) 76-81-157, Shelby Osiecki (NB) 78-79-157, Allyson Markiewicz (AK) 80-77-157, Emily Stinson (AK) 82-76-158, Abbey Hartsell (ALEX) 76-82-148 and Brittany Smith (MC) 83-78-161, Victoria Allred (REAG) 82-79-161.
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