There are no medals or ribbons given for winning the Upstate AAAAA golf championship. Even with no trophies to take home the Boiling Springs Bulldogs made winning the Upper State tournament one of their season goals.
While the Bulldogs got their first Upper State title Emily Dunlap has made being the medalist in the qualifying tournament a habit. The Mauldin junior finished as the top individual golfer in the Upstate tournament for the third straight year.
Boiling Springs had never won the Upper State qualifying tournament. The top eight teams advance to the state championship in Lexington next week.
“Our team really wanted to get this win,” said coach Kyle Scruggs. “We know it is another step to the state championship, but we missed out on winning it last year and that made it bigger for us this year,” he said.
The win sets the Bulldogs up to likely be paired with Lexington in the first round. Lexington is the defending state AAAAA champion and a perennial power in girls golf in the state.
“We want to go to state and compete. We know Lexington is a great team, but we need to just concentrate on our game one shot at a time,” said the coach.
The Bulldogs shot a 308 total to win the qualifying tournament by 19 shots over Byrnes, the team that kept them from winning the Upper State last year.
Sydney Roberts led the Bulldogs shooting a 1-over par 73. Caitlyn Cash carded a 75 while Isabella Britt added a 76. Madison Dixon and Amber Amaker each shot 84.
“It is going to be important for us to play well the first day. You can’t win the championship in the first round, but you can lose it. We need to play like we have going into state. We hit a lot of fairways and we have been solid around the green,” said Scruggs.
In addition to Boiling Springs and Byrnes, Gaffney shot a 353 total to finish third.
Other qualifiers were 4 – Dorman 348, 5 – Fort Mill 379, 6 – Northwestern 384, 7 – Hanna 392, 8 – Riverside 402.
Dunlap shot an even par round of 72 to finish as the top individual. It is not a position that is unfamiliar to the Maverick’s golfer who won her first of three Upper State titles as a freshman.
“I didn’t play as well as I would have liked to today,” she said. “I had a couple of bogeys on the back before I made a bounce back birdie. I had two chances for birdies on the final two holes and if I had made those it would have been a really good round,” she said.
Dunlap hopes she can improve on an eighth place finish in last year’s AAAAA championship. She will be the only golfer from Mauldin in the tournament this year as the Mavericks missed earning the eighth qualifying spot by one shot.
“I know there is nothing to take home for winning except knowing that you are playing well going into the final, that confidence will help at state,” said Dunlap.
Joining Dunlap as individual qualifiers for the state tournament are Ell Johnson from Spartanburg who shot a 1-over par 73. The third individual qualifier is Alyssa Campbell from Clover who matched Johnson’s 73.
The AAAAA State Championship will be played at The Country Club of Lexington on October 23 and 24th.