The Lexington girls golf team will have familiar surroundings as it looks to add another Class 4A state title to its trophy case.
The Wildcats will be playing on their home course at Lexington Country Club when the two-day 4A state championship begins Monday at 9 a.m.
“It is worth a few shots playing at Lexington Country Club, because girls were members since they were 8 or 9 years old. We will have to see,” Lexington coach Brandon Smith said.
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Lexington has won 10 of the last 11 state championships, including last year’s title by 27 strokes. But the nucleus of that team, which included Lauren Stephenson and Ann Elizabeth Gore, who are both playing college golf, is gone.
The Wildcats return just two starters from last year’s team in Limestone commit Hailey Cleary and Gracyn Burgess, who is getting Division I interest and was one of the tri-medalists in last week’s Class 4A lower state tournament.
The rest of the group is made up of Abby Gore, Hannah Stephenson and talented seventh grader Karlee Vardis.
The other schools have closed the gap in trying to chase down Lexington. Wando defeated the Wildcats by 12 shots in the lower state championship, and Dorman and Boiling and Springs also look to contend this week.
“Our approach is going to worry about ourselves and how we play, and hope that is good enough,” Smith said. “We can’t worry about the other teams.”
In addition to Lexington, White Knoll and Blythewood also qualified for the tournament. White Knoll’s Jensen Castle shared medalist honors with Burgess and Wando’s Kate Harper in the lower state tournament. Castle finished third at last year’s state tournament.
Spring Valley’s Kamryn Beaman and River Bluff’s Georgia Loadholt qualified as individuals.
The A.C. Flora girls were the lone Midlands team competing in the 3A tournament. The 3A tournament is Monday and Tuesday at Barony Golf Club in Hilton Head Island.