Lexington coach Brandon Smith knew when his No. 5 player, Gracyn Burgess, posted a 2-under 70 that it was going to be a good day.
Burgess was one of four Wildcats to score in the 70s in the final round en route to a 580-635 victory against Spartanburg at the South Carolina High School League 4A girls golf state championship tournament on Tuesday at Willow Creek. It was Lexington’s second consecutivestate championship and ninth in the past 10 years.
“All the girls played really well,” Smith said. “I’m real excited for us to go out and play well and like we’re capable of. I knew we could shoot under par if we played well, and it’s really fun to watch.”
Lexington was led by individual medalist and Clemson commitment Lauren Stephenson with a two-day score of 140. The junior shot 2-under par each day. Stephenson, along with Sydney Legacy (145), was named to the all-state team.
“It’s the best we’ve played since the five years I’ve played,” Stephenson said. “It’s so exciting. I’ve been in contention to win the individual, so now it’s exciting for me now that I’ve won it. My team also played awesome, shooting 6-under today. We played really well, and I’m so proud of them.”
Spartanburg finished as runner-up for the second consecutive year. The Vikings were led by all-state selection Anne Taylor Hough (145), who tied for third.
“Obviously, it feels great,” Hough said. “I got all-state in eighth grade and missed it the past two years. It’s a big relief. Of course, I wanted my team to play good, but I also wanted to play good individually. All around, I’m really happy for the team and happy about the way I played.”
Spartanburg senior Cameron Smith rallied from a pair of rough holes to finish as one of the top four scorers on her team. She posted an 11 on one hole and triple-bogeyed another before regrouping.
Vikings coach Bill Dees said Smith was a key part of his team’s success in the final round.
“I’m so proud of my senior,” Dees said. “She was playing great, had a little bump in the road and then was bulldog mean. She did exactly what I asked her and grinded it out. She’s the key to get us where we are… For the seniors, it’s four straight regions and two straight runner-up finishes. I’m very proud of them.”
“I tried to do what I did yesterday,” Smith said. “I thought I could pull through, but once I got to the back, I started working hard and happy I shot what I shot.”
Team results: 1. Lexington 580; 2. Spartanburg 635; 3. Bluffton 647; T4. South Pointe 658; T4. Wade Hampton 658; T6. Easley 673; T6. South Aiken 673; 8. Lancaster 701; 9. Mauldin 706; 10. Carolina Forest 716; 11. Spring Valley 719; 12. White Knoll 724; 13. Dorman 728; 14. Dutch Fork 737; 15. Fort Dorchester 778; 16. Ashley Ridge 803
All-state team: Lauren Stephenson (Lexington) 140; 2. Savannah Goodman (Easley) 143; T3. Anne Taylor Hough (Spartanburg) 145; T3. Kelli Murphy (Lugoff-Elgin) 145; T3. Sydney Legacy (Lexington) 145; T6. Jenson Castle (White Knoll) 147; T6. Riley Lovorn (T.L. Hanna); 8. Brandi Hammonds (Bluffton) 148; T9. Nicole Chin (Dutch Fork) 150; T9. Ashley Czarnecki (Mauldin) 150
Pickens rolls to 3A title. At Longs, Pickens shot a 322-338—660 to defeat runner-up and defending state champion Greenville by 19 shots in the Class 3A state championship tournament.
Two Midlands teams participated: Airport finished sixth at 719 and A.C. Flora was eighth at 762.
Team results: 1, Pickens 322-338–660; 2, Greenville 344-335–679; 3, St. James 342-341–683; 4, Daniel 340-347–687; 5, Wren 345-344–689; 6, Airport 365-354–719; 7, McBee 368-366–734; 8, AC Flora 386-376–762; 9, Travelers Rest 391-378–769; 10, Hilton Head 391-384–775; 11, Chesterfield 403-380–783; 12, Chapman 414-396–810; 13, Myrtle Beach 417-399–816; 14, Eastside 433-415–848; 15, Bishop England 435-416–851; 16, Union County 466-416–882; 17, River Bluff 443-452–895.
All-state team: 1, Cayla Smith, Wren, 70-71–141; 2, Maddy Cox, Pickens, 70-78–148; 3, Annika Bovender, Academic Magnet, 75-74–149; 4, Eden Howard, Hartsville, 78-72–150; 5, Carly Burkhardt, Greenville, 76-75–151; 6, Smith Knaffle, St. James, 76-76–152; 7, Karly Mims, Airport, 78-75–153; T8, Victoria Huskey, Greenville, 81-73–154; 9, Jaqueline Twitty, Chapin, 78-76–154; 10, Makalyn Poole, Palmetto, 74-80–154. Also: T24, Madison Elliott, North Myrtle Beach, 86-90–176.