Prep golf: Hornets on top after Day 1
By Mike London
Salisbury golf coach Dale Snyder’s optimistic goal prior the first round of the 1A/2A/3A state tournament was a 250.
His team gave him that score right on the nose.
“We talked about it, and I told the girls 250 would put us in great shape,” Snyder said. “The funny thing is they landed right on it. All three girls came through, played about as good as they could.”
Madison Kennedy’s 80 and 85s by Lily Yatawara and Amber Lyerly put the Hornets squarely at 250. They hold an eight-stroke lead on second-place West Henderson heading into today’s final 18 holes at Longleaf Golf and Country Club in Southern Pines.
“Nothing spectacular, but the girls were very consistent, lots of pars, and that’s what it takes to win tournament golf,” Snyder said. “Until the last hole they were great at avoiding big numbers.”
Kennedy, a junior who shot 40 on each side to tie for seventh overall, was 5 over through 17 holes. She suffered a quadruple bogey on No. 9, her finishing hole. Her teammates had double bogeys on No. 9 as the Hornets surrendered some of their lead.
Snyder said he’s not worried about that rough finish carrying over to today.
“Actually, I think that last hole made them mad, gave them some fire,” Snyder said.
The Hornets are young ó Lyerly is also a junior and Yatawara is a sophomore ó and the tournament is a long way from over. With all three scores counting, an eight-shot lead can disappear quickly.
“The girls understand there’s a whole lot of work still to be done,” Snyder said. “Three years ago we were down nine shots to Wilson Fike and came back.”
Snyder said the course played “on the easy side” Monday. Greens were slow. There was drizzle toward the end of the round, but it had no major impact on scores.
West Henderson’s Kayla Scuipider had the best individual round with a 3-over 74, teammate Anna Padgett shot 82 and Allea Hawkins posted a 91.
Third-place Topsail is still in the hunt at 261. Western Alamance, which finished ahead of Salisbury in the Central Regional, stands fifth at 273.
“We’ll be playing together Tuesday with the girls from West Henderson and Topsail, so we’ll know what we need to do,” Snyder said. “We just have to stay with the girls we’re playing with. We’ll go out there and try to shoot 250 again. If we can do that and someone still catches us, we’ll just say, ‘Congratulations, you were the better team.’ ”
Salisbury was disappointed with its second-place showing in the regional at Statesville Country Club, but it got back on track Monday.
“We didn’t play well at all at Statesville and knew we could do better,” Snyder said. “I’m not shocked that we did what we did today. I’m just pleasantly surprised.”
Today, the Hornets will try to bring home the school’s third state title in the past five years. Salisbury won at Whispering Pines in 2005 and at Buies Creek’s Keith Hills in 2006.
NOTES: Yatawara and Lyerly were part of a tie for 13th. … Yatawara made the turn at 41, with Lyerly at 43 … The Salisbury players will tee off at 10:40 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 11 a.m. today. … West Rowan’s Katie Knepp shot 96, and West’s Alex Mills had a 101. … East Rowan’s Samantha Haviland shot 104. … Davie’s Caitlyn Brake shot 89 in the first round of the 4A tournament in Pinehurst.