Garner’s Kayla Ward started her career in state championship events with a top 10 finish; Neuse Charter’s Makenna Hammer finished hers with another one.
The duo highlighted a solid outing for area girls golfers in the three state girls golf championship events held in the Sandhills.
Ward, a freshman, finished third at 9-over-par in the 4A state championships at Pinehurst No. 1. Her 72 on Tuesday was one of the lowest rounds of the day.
“Kayla had a great tournament,” said Garner coach Connie Barnes. “She continued her steady play and composure. We’re looking forward to the next three years with big expectations.”
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Ward had one bad hole (taking an eight on the par-4 sixth) on her opening nine holes of the 36-hole, two-day event, but bounced back with an even par total on the back nine, capped by a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Her second round was very consistent with 14 pars, a birdie and three bogeys.
Neuse Charter senior Makenna Hammer finished seventh at the 1A/2A state championships at Foxfire Golf and Country Club. It was her second consecutive top seven finish in a state championship.
“She was very consistent driving the ball, only missing two fairways both days,” said Mike Hammer, Makenna’s coach and father. “The Red Course at Foxfire was very challenging with several uphill par 4s and risk-reward choices over water.”
She posted a total of 168, 13-over-par for the tournament.
Grace Yatawara of Salisbury won the state 1A/2A title with a score of 1-over par 145 for the event.
South Johnston’s Sydney Wheeless continued her solid post-season with a 19th place finish at the 3A state championships at Longleaf Golf and Country Club. Wheeless finished at 25-over-par, 169. She had rounds of 85 and 84 in the 36-hole event.
“Sydney has worked extremely hard over this past year to improve her game,” said South Johnston coach Daniel Benson. “Her goal was to qualify to states this season. I feel like she more than accomplished that goal.”
Wheeless was the first South Johnston golfer to qualify for a state girls golf championship.
Corinth Holders’ Peyton Labonte had the lowest round by area golfers in the 3A championships with her 81 on Tuesday. She tied for 20th at 170.
Labonte cut the double bogeys out in the second round with nine bogeys and nine pars on the day.
Parker Watson of Smithfield-Selma finished tied for 25th in the state at 174. Her best round was an 85 on Monday.
Cleveland’s Tabby Herzig finished 66th in the state.