LaGrange girls golf finishes third in area, books spot at state

Published 8:05 am Friday, April 28, 2023

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The LaGrange girls golf team booked a spot in the state tournament with a third-place finish at the Area 1-4A tournament on Thursday. 

“Despite the rain, the conditions on the course were really good today at The Fields, who do a great job of maintaining the course,” LaGrange coach Solomon Whitfield said. “I thought we really rose to the occasion today. 

The Grangers finished comfortably in third-place, 36 strokes ahead of fourth-place Bainbridge and 35 strokes behind second-place Trinity Christian. After missing the state tournament as a team a season ago, LaGrange earned a spot this season with more than a small margin for error. 

The top eight individual finishers were from Starr’s Mill and Trinity Christian, but one Granger made an appearance in the top 10 –– sophomore Hudson Wood, who put together a great round of golf to score 96. She was only two strokes back from sixth place and was the strongest Granger performer on the course. 

“We had a big performance from Hudson Wood,” Whitfield said. “She put together a really good round especially considering none of the Starr’s Mill girls shot worse than an 88.” 

Caroline Kersey was a key figure for the LaGrange girls golf team. Yes, she scored a 106, good enough for 12th best individual on Thursday, but she is also the only senior on the team and a real leader for a young team trying to find their footing.

“Caroline stepped up really big last night,” Whitfield said. “It is one thing for a coach to encourage the girls, but it is even more special when a player does it. Caroline sent a four page text message last night wishing everybody good luck and telling them not to give up on each other.”

Freshman Katie Hale finished 14th with a score of 115 while fellow freshman Caroline Brown  finished 16th with a 117. Sophomore Sydnee Jennings shot a 124. 

“Katie Hale had a really good round today as well,” Whitfield said. “It was one of her better showings of her freshman season.”

LaGrange will now prepare for the state tournament that will take place next month. While the Grangers will not be a threat to win it all this year, it will serve as valuable experience to a team that is chock full of young talent.

“I told the girls at the beginning of the year that our expectations would be to make the tournament and then once we get there we can enjoy the experience,” Whitfield said. “I wanted them to set the goal to try and get there. It’s a good feeling for these girls to reach this goal.”