The girls high school golf season opens in the next week and six teams got together at Paris Mountain Country Club to preview the upcoming season.
High School boys teams have several pre-season tournaments to play before region competition begins and the new tournament is designed to give the girls the same kind of opportunity.
“We need to do some things to help support girls golf and holding this kind of pre-season tournament is a way of doing that,” said Bob Shell, the co-coach of the JL Mann team.
Shell also coordinated the tournament that included teams from Mann, Hillcrest, Pendleton, Daniel and Wade Hampton.
Shell expects the tournament to grow next year. He would like to invite 12-14 teams to play the event on a neutral site before next season.
“Girls golf is good and getting better and a showcase tournament at the start of the season will really help to put a spotlight on the girls,” he said.
Katie Whitfield of Daniel won the tournament with an even par score of 72.
By her own admission, Whitfield’s game was not as sharp as it was when she won the CGA Match Play title or The Blade Junior Classic, but it was good enough for the win.
“I was three over thru four holes and had to calm down a little bit,” she said. “On the par-4 sixth hole I chipped in for a birdie and that got me settled down,” said Whitfield.
The future Bowling Green University golfer led her team to a convincing win in the team competition. The Lions finished comfortably ahead of the rest of the field for the team win.
Daniel was in the mix for a state AAAA title and Whitfield has challenged for the individual championship the last two years. She and her teammates would like to have another crack at bringing a state championship trophy back to the Upstate.
“We have a good team and we are all excited about the new season,” concluded Whitfield.
J.L. Mann’s Sara Boteler finished second in the individual portion of the tournament. The rising freshman at Mann shot a 6-over par 78 to claim the runner-up spot.
Members of the winning Daniel team included Whitfield, Adrienne O’Brien, Emiliegh Swords, Courtney Collins, Gillian O’Brien and coach Andy Swords.