Prep golf: Salisbury storms to county title

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

By Bret Strelow
CHINA GROVE ó Two Salisbury golfers shared medalist honors at the Rowan County championship match Thursday.
Two more finished within close range of the individual title, and that dominance translated into a runaway victory for the Hornets at Warrior Golf Club.
Madison Kennedy and Lily Yatawara tied for first place with 8-over-par 79s as Salisbury posted a team total of 238, 37 strokes better than runner-up West Rowan. East Rowan took third at 314.
Amber Lyerly (career-best 80) also scored for the Hornets, and Catherine Parks fired an 83 on her 17th birthday.
“I’m kind of glad there was a tie because if you had asked me to pick between which of the four I wanted to make it, I wouldn’t have been able to pick,” Salisbury coach Dale Snyder said.
“Our scores have been high lately. We came out here to win, but also to play well. We had to really bounce back after some bad matches, and we have not putted well for about two weeks now. They came out today and played well. They knew they needed this as a confidence booster for going on to regionals and states.”
West’s Alex Mills (86) and Katie Knepp (90) joined four Hornets on the all-county team, and South Rowan’s Courtney Barbee had a 91. Samantha Haviland led East with a 96.Kennedy, whose round started on hole No. 2, made a triple-bogey 7 at No. 9 after receiving a two-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball.
Her 36 on the back nine included one par ó at No. 18. She alternated between bogeys and birdies for the first eight holes on the closing nine.
“I get emotional sometimes,” Kennedy said with a laugh. “Putting was again a struggle, but 79 is good and I’m happy.”
Yatawara, who also started on No. 2, went to No. 10 at 5 over. She knew she needed to break 40 on the back in order to shoot in the 70s, and she recorded a 39.
She finished up at No. 1 and made a 5-foot putt for par.
“I’m so happy we all shot around the same,” Yatawara said. “Our team did really well.”
Lyerly, who tied for the team lead in a match at Rolling Hills a week earlier, set personal bests for nine and 18 holes Thursday.
She followed a double-bogey 7 at No. 4 with back-to-back birdies and carded a 2-over 37 on the front.
Lyerly was at 4 over for her round heading to the 17th tee box. She closed with a triple bogey and double bogey.
“I was excited until 17 and 18,” Lyerly said. “I had confidence in my shots and my putts, which helped a lot. I was just having fun.
“I’m upset I missed my last putt when I could have broke 80, but I’m still excited. That’s the best round I’ve ever played in a tournament.”
Parks received one birthday present ó a new set of golf clubs ó about a month early.
She ran into trouble at No. 7, where her drive landed in the fairway but took a weird bounce and found water. An approach from 50 yards away came to rest inches from the cup, and Parks tapped in for bogey.
She played the five par-3s at a combined 2 over.
“I’m very happy, and I had room to improve,” Parks said. “I had silly shots, and I know I can shoot better than the score I posted. I came back from bad holes, which means a lot to me.”