CLAYTON — Green Hope’s girls golf team and Fuquay-Varina sophomore Catherine Ashworth both did something they didn’t set out to do at Monday’s 4A girls golf regional at Pine Hollow Golf Club. Of course, they were far from a bad thing.
In fact, they came with trophies.
The Falcons won the regional team championship by 11 strokes, while Ashworth took the individual regional crown by a shot over Green Hope’s Meghan Symonds and Lee County’s Muk Shoomee.
The top three scoring players on the four lowest team scores (team scores are computed from the lowest three scores) all advanced to next week’s 36-hole, two-day state championship at Pinehurst No. 6. So winning is nice but not what the teams and individuals here were after – it was just one of the spots available for next week.
The other 14 state finals berths were determined by the lowest individual scores with any golfer who shot 89 or lower advancing.
“Your goal here is just to get in (the state tournament),” Symonds said. “You just concentrate on your game. Winning is a just a bonus.”
Ashworth took advantage of quite the bonus of her own to top the individual field. She eagled the par-4, 382-yard eighth hole, holing out a nearly 200-yard shot from the fairway.
“I was 187 out and I just hit a hybrid,” Ashworth said. “I was just trying to get it on the green. I didn’t have any idea it would go in the hole.”
The shot got Ashworth back to even par, a score she wanted to post at the end of the day, but a pair of back-nine double bogeys ended those hopes.
Scoring on the 5,616-yard layout was up but still showed improvement across the board.
“This course is one that’s getable,” Green Hope coach Dona Lerner said. “But it can also step up and get you. You can make a four or an eight on any hole. That’s why it’s important to keep the right mindset.”
Middle Creek (260), Fuquay-Varina (261) and Wake Forest-Rolesville made up the top four. Wake Forest-Rolesville took the fourth team qualifying bid on a scorecard top handicap hole playoff. The Cougars’ three golfers scored 13 on the hole, Holly Springs had a combined total of 15. Both teams finished at 262.
Betsy Dohrer led Middle Creek with an 81. Amanda Levy shot 80 for the Cougars of Wake Forest-Rolesville. Athens Drive’s Sarah Bae, the Tri-Nine Conference individual champion, shot 79, as did Heritage’s Rhea Bhatia and East Chapel Hill entry Becca Halter. Leigha Holt of Holly Springs finished at 81.
Middle Creek’s Brittney Smith shot 88 and Kaitlyn West finished at 91. Jennifer Browne and Brittany Greene both shot 92 for Fuquay-Varina. And Samantha Bennett (88) and Madie Finghers (96) will also play at the state finals for Wake Forest-Rolesville. Green Hope picked up an 85 from Sophie Reigel and an 86 from Maddi MacClurg.
Green Hope will have five players at states with Maddie Lee (87) and Amanda Yannoni (89) also qualifying.
“There is no perfect round,” Lerner said. “And it doesn’t matter what you hit, it’s how you respond to each shot. This group understands that they don’t have to carry the team themselves. They did a good job of keeping themselves in play today, not tightening up when it got testy and figuring it out.”
Other individual qualifiers were Heritage’s Kendra Dalton (83), Brianna Bulgarino of Enloe (84), Jessica Perez of Sanderson (85), Savannah Gowarty of Sanderson (87), Lily James of Enloe (87), Courtney Normand of Holly Springs (89) and East Chapel Hill’s Sarah Towne (89).