For the A.C. Flora boys golf squad, finishing the first round of the Class 3A championship match one shot off the lead was no cause for alarm. On Tuesday at Wildewood, a calm and collected Falcons squad shot a second-round 299 to win their fifth consecutive state title.
“It’s a great feeling,” coach Harry Huntley said. “Several of these boys don’t know what it’s like to not be on the state championship team. Everybody who played (Tuesday) has played in a championship before, and that experience made a big difference. I’m lucky to be with a group of guys like this for another.”
The Falcons finished with a 36-hole score of 605, while Wren was runner-up with a 617.
Going into the day, Greenville was ahead with a 305. The Falcons had shot 306 and Wren was in third at 307.
At breakfast, the Falcons did not talk about their standing or Greenville’s scores.
“We talked about what everybody’s best tournament score was,” Huntley said. “That helped the guys go out there with more confidence, because they knew that they could count on every other guy to have a strong round.”
Huntley said Flora had scored as low as 296 during the season and set out to shoot below 300 in the championship round.
The Falcons shaved seven strokes off their Monday score, led by Jennings Huntley and senior Chase Fisher, who each dropped six strokes. Ryan Marter improved his score by one stroke.
“Coach told me he was going to play me today, because he knew I had a great round coming and I had some bad fortune yesterday,” Fisher said. “Today, I just tried to par as much as I could. I wasn’t aggressive. We knew we had to let other players make the mistakes and not mess up ourselves, so that is what I focused on.”
Fisher parred 13 holes, and birdied the par-4 10th and par-3 11th.
Jennings Huntley was the team’s low scorer on the day, shooting a 73. Dwight Cauthen led the Falcons in the tournament, scoring 149. In the second round, Cauthen was 1-under on the front but had trouble on the way in, bogeying three of the final five holes.
The Falcons’ No. 1 golfer was not thinking about the team standings or who was in the lead, either.
“I just tried to play the match one shot at a time, and do better on each shot,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome to finish and win the championship again.”
Wren coach Fran Campbell was pleased with his team’s second-place finish.
“This experience is going to be good for us, and we look forward to coming back next year and see if we can move up one more spot,” he said.
Hilton Head, led by Andrew Orischak’s 71-73 and a three-stroke improvement by Travis Mancil (151) took third with a 620. Despite a 70 from medalist Keenan Huskey, Greenville slipped to fourth place after shooting a 316, for a total 621.
TOP 10/ALL-STATE: Keenan Huskey, Greenville 69-70—139; Andrew Orischak, Hilton Head, 71-73—144; Zach McLain, Gilbert, 71-75—146; Jacob Bridgeman, Chapman, 76-72—148; Zach Bishop, Travelers Rest, 75-74—149; Sawyer Mills, Wren, 74-75—149; Grayson Bell, Wren, 74-75—149; Dwight Cauthen, A.C. Flora, 74-75—149; Travis Mancil, Hilton Head, 77-74—151; Isac Nycum, Hartsville, 77-74—151; Drake Cassidy, Hartsville, 77-74—151
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