The AAAA High School championship turned into a showcase for the Boiling Springs Bulldogs and Dorman’s Jordan Warnoch.
The Bulldogs, led by defending individual champion Trent Phillips, won their third straight state title.
Warnock, who was co-medalist at the Upper State final, breezed to the individual championship.
Both Warnock and the Boiling Springs team played impressive golf in the 54 hole tournament at the Furman Golf Course.
Warnoch was able to take an early lead in the first round with a 3-under par 69. The Cavalier senior played even better in the second round when he carded a 7-under par 65 to hold an eight shot lead going into the final round.
“I worked hard to play well in this tournament,” said Warnoch. “I made a lot of putts in the second round. I trusted my putter, got the ball on the right line and knew it would go in,” he said.
With a big lead Warnoch dialed back his game in the final round. He shot a 1-over par 73 and lost a shot to Phillips, but still played well enough to win.
“I knew I had a big lead, but I didn’t want to play real safe. I tried to be a little aggressive when I could. I wanted to force the field to try and catch me,” said the future USC Upstate golfer.
Phillips shot an even par final round to take second place while Gaffney’s Zach Gordon was third.
Much like the way Warnoch took control of the individual portion of the tournament the Bulldogs did just about the same thing in the race for the team title.
Boiling Springs held a five shot lead over Gaffney after the first 36 holes. They extended their lead to 11-shots by the end of the tournament.
Lexington finished third with North Augusta fourth and Dorman moving up to fifth in the final round.
Since the very beginning of the season Boiling Springs had been considered the favorite to win the title. There is no greater burden than high expectations in sports and the Bulldogs handled the pressure.
“It is difficult when everyone thinks you are supposed to win,” said Josh Pruitt, the Bulldogs coach. “We struggled early in the season, but we got it together and played well when it mattered,” said the coach.
The possibility of winning a third straight title took a hit before the season started. Senior Trevor Phillips, a Georgia golf recruit, injured his knee and missed the entire season.
“When we lost Trevor we had to rely on our three, four and five guys. They did what we needed for them to do and that made a big difference for us this year,” said Pruitt.
One of the players who emerged as the season progressed was Harrison Corbin. Corbin played well in the region. He then earned a top-10 finish at the Upper State and ended the year as an All-State golfer.
Corbin tied Drayton Stuart of Johns Island for fifth place.
The Gaffney Indians finished in second behind the Bulldogs. Two of Gaffney’s golfers earned All-State honors.
Zach Gordon finished in third place with a 219 score. Ross Joliff of Gaffney was the other Indians player to receive the honor.
“We had a great finish to the season. We beat Gaffney at their home course at Cherokee National. They know their way around there and we still pulled off a win. We kept it going at Furman and we are champions again,” said Pruitt.
Also earning All-State honors was Tyler Jones of Byrnes.
The Bulldogs have a very good chance to make it four in a row with a victory again next year.
“The only senior we lose is Trevor Phillips, all the rest of the players are back. We also have a few newcomers who look like they are going to be good and should help us when we start back next year,” concluded Pruitt.
Watch Dorman’s Jordan Warnock finish his round and win the championship.