• 64°

East Rowan’s team, Carson’s Brown are county champions

By David Shaw

sports@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Book another chapter in East Rowan girls golf history.

Even during a down-to-the-studs rebuilding season, the Mustangs easily captured Tuesday’s Rowan County championship by a considerable margin.

“We lost six seniors from last year,” 15th-year coach Rhett Teems said at McCanless Golf Club, where East (265) easily bested runners-up North Rowan (334) and West Rowan (361). “I only had three girls coming back — and I thought that was all I would have. But a few more girls came out and that made all the difference in the world.”

East won its third consecutive county title and fourth in the past six years. Carson senior Sophia Brown shot a mistake-free 81 to win the county’s individual championship. She was joined on the all-county team by five East golfers — Emma Callahan (87), Carlee Patterson (88), Lexi Miller (90), Victoria Lewis (97) and Anna Hester (104). Carson entered just two individuals, Salisbury did not participate and South Rowan isn’t fielding a team this autumn — yet none of it seemed to tarnish East’s accomplishment.

“As always, East Rowan was shooting pure golf,” said North coach Hunter Fuller. “That’s what I’ll just call it. They stay consistent down the fairway and don’t try to do too much.”

Callahan, a tall sophomore, is now a two-time all-county honoree. She carded a 101 on the same, par-70 course a year ago.

“Well, it helps to be playing on your home course,” she said afterward. “I felt like I knew what I was doing. Still, I have some things I need to work on.”

Teems said East’s quicker-than-expected resurgence starts with Callahan. “All of these girls have been solid and very consistent,” he said. “One’s been the biggest surprise. Emma really improved toward the end of the season. She’s come on real strong. You’re happy to see that happen, but she’s put in the work so it should happen.”

Patterson, one of East’s out-of-the-blue freshman, cited damp course conditions for her score.

“It’s great we won, but I could have played a lot better,” she said. “My putting was way off. The last time we played here everything was dry and hard. Today it wasn’t. It was different, but a good different.”

Miller is a junior enjoying her first season for the Mustangs. She steered clear of trouble throughout and birdied the par-4, 265-yard seventh hole.

“Yeah, but it wasn’t super tough,” she said, flashing a sideways smile. “My drives were really good today. I had a couple of shots that threw me off, but mostly, I kept it straight.”

Teems said the Mustangs have become adept at making on-the-fly adjustments. “We talk about this every day,” he noted. “When you talk about playing a golf course, you need to figure out where not to hit the ball. Don’t beat yourself. Don’t let the course beat you. When we go up for a practice round for regionals, that’s what I’m telling them to do.”

The 3A Central Region championship is scheduled Monday at Greensboro National. The top 26 or 27 finishers will qualify for the state championship meet Oct. 28-29 in Pinehurst.

•••

Brown’s individual title made her all-county for the third straight season. She stayed true to the course, launched well-placed tee shots and parred several holes. But her overnight success was truly two years in the making.

“It’s sort of a milestone,” she said. “Two years ago I made myself a promise, that by my senior year I would be county champion. Last year, I was third. That motivated me today. The key was to just come out with a positive attitude.”

•••

North brought three golfers and placed second — a lofty finish considering it’s a second-year program. Sophomore Kimya Lynch (106), junior Anna Everhart (112) and freshman Azaria Elder (116) carded for the Cavs.

“First thing that helped us,” Fuller explained, “was Salisbury didn’t show up. They’re a good team that beat us earlier in the year. We’ve just gotten better all year long. All but two of my girls are first-year players. But they’ve worked hard, focused in practice to learn the game and did well today.”

Rowan County Girls Golf Championships

Tuesday, at McCanless Golf Club

EAST ROWAN (265) — Emma Callahan 87, Carlee Patterson 88, Lexi Miller 90, Victoria Lewis 97, Anna Hester 104.

NORTH ROWAN (334) — Kimya Lynch 106, Anna Everhart 112, Azaria Elder 116.

WEST ROWAN (361) — Gabby Blabon 109, Dreamah Mason 126, Gabriel Woods 126.

CARSON (No team score) — Sophia Brown 81, Kate Carter 111.

All-Rowan County Team, based on Tuesday’s tournament:

Brown, Carson (county champion)

Callahan, East

Patterson, East

Miller, East

Lewis, East

Hester, East

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