CONWAY — Keenan Huskey was meticulous in the tabulation of his scorecard Monday and Tuesday in the Class 3A boys golf tournament at the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina.
He had good reason.
The Greenville High junior shot a 69 in the opening round of last year’s 3A championship at the Hackler Course, including a 35 on the back nine. Or so he thought. He accidently wrote the back-nine total in the space for the 18th hole, thereby giving himself a 35 on the 18th and turning his 69 into a 100.
He correctly tallied the scores for his rounds of 71 and 72 this week, allowing him to win the individual title by four strokes over runner-up Andrew Orischak of Hilton Head with his 1-under 143.
“It definitely is a little bit of payback, I guess you could say,” said Huskey, who has committed to South Carolina. “If that wouldn’t have happened I would have had a chance to win last year. I shot 173, and surprisingly I still beat some people, but … it was just a big ol’ mess.
“It taught me a good lesson. I definitely check a little bit closer every time, especially here.”
While Huskey claimed his first title, A.C. Flora continued its dominance of the team competition. The Falcons claimed their fourth consecutive team state title with a 315-309–624 for a three-stroke win against Hilton Head.
A.C. Flora is right at home on the Hackler Course. The Falcons have won six of the past seven and eight of the past 10 3A state titles, and their wins in 2007, ’08, ’10, ’12 and ’13 have come on the CCU-managed layout.
A.C. Flora had won the past two state titles in playoffs — against St. James in 2011 at Black Bear Golf Club and last year against Chapin. The Falcons entered the final round two shots behind Hilton Head but took a sizable lead by the turn before it “started melting away,” Falcons coach Harry Huntley said. “But they hung together. I’m proud of them, to do it four times in a row.”
Flora returned all five starters from the 2012 state championship team, yet Huntley plugged freshman Dwight Cauthen into the lineup this year and he was the team’s best player this week with a 6-over 77-73—150 to finish fifth individually.
“The younger guys performed and that was the thing that was great for us,” Huntley said. “Everybody contributed, and I guess that was the best part. That’s what you ask for from a team."
“We were behind two strokes by the end of the first day,” Huntley said. “(Tuesday) I really focused on getting them loose before we started.”
“We turned the tables on the front nine and after nine holes, we had an 11-stroke lead. But then we started leaking oil,” Huntley continued. “We ended up only winning by three shots, but at least we avoided a playoff. Those things are nerve-wracking.”
South Aiken wins 4A title. At Greenville, South Aiken erased a nine-shot deficit to rally to a 922-925 victory against Boiling Springs to claim the 75th Annual Kiwanis 4A boys golf state tournament at Furman.
The Bulldogs held a 611-620 advantage through 36 holes but watched the Thoroughbreds begin the comeback on the back nine of the final 18 holes.
Staff writer Akilah Imani Nelson contributed to this report