LaGrange girls golf finishes 12th at state

Published 2:58 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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The LaGrange girls golf team battled the rain and the wind at the 4A state tournament at Braelinn Golf Club in Peachtree City to finish 12th. After missing the state tournament last season, the Grangers improved leaps and bounds this season and finished just nine strokes behind Wayne County in 11th place.

“We knew there was a chance of rain, but it rained the entire five and a half hours of the round,” coach Solomon Whitfield said. “You could tell it was wearing them down and outside of Hudson Wood, everybody struggled a little on day one.

“We went out there on Tuesday with the mindset to be better, and we ended up shooting almost 20 strokes better.”

Wood, a sophomore, is one of the main reasons the Grangers even qualified for state in the first place, with a strong showing at the area tournament, and her strong run of play continued at the state tournament. She was once again the low Granger, shooting a 210 over the two round tournament. 

“Hudson’s been a solid player for us last year and early this year, but she stepped it up here in the last month for us,” Whitfield said. “She is a really good athlete and she doesn’t get rattled often.”

Freshman Caroline Brown shot a 244, good enough for second on the team. The lone Granger senior, Caroline Kersey, bounced back from a tough day in the rain on Monday to shoot a 106 on Tuesday, the second best round from any Granger behind Wood’s 103 on day one.

“She has been a greater leader for us this year,” Whitfield said. “She has been a great asset to the team and she would really bring everybody together as a family.”

Freshman Katie Hale rounded out the four Grangers whose two-day score contributed to the Grangers overall score of 699.

Junior Carlee Roland and sophomore Sydnee Jennings played a round each, but neither score counted toward LaGrange’s overall score. Roland shot a 130 on day two and if she were able to play on day one and shoot a similar score, the Grangers would have finished comfortably in 11th place. 

“I am super proud of them,” said Ben Thrasher, the head boy’s golf coach and assistant girl’s golf coach. “I’m super ecstatic for them. I know they were miserable out there Monday and Tuesday and most of them aren’t natural golfers, but they went out there with the right attitude and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Grangers will have a new coach next time they take the greens with Kelsea Platt set to take over for Whitfield starting in the 2024 season.

“I know the team is getting bigger next year and it will be in good hands,” Whitfield said. “I plan to do some work with them this summer and coach Platt will as well. Coach Platt knows what she is talking about and I think she’s going to be great for the program.”