Upper State and Lower State tournaments do not hand out trophies, plaques, ribbons or medals. The top eight teams win a ticket to their classification state finals which will be played on May 13th and 14th around the state.
The Woodruff Wolverines had a goal at the start of the season. It was to play their best golf at the end of the season.
The Wolverines accomplished their goal by winning the top qualifying spot in the Upper State AAA tournament at Three Pines Country Club. Woodruff advanced to the state championship at Camden Country Club on May 13 – 14.
Woodruff shot a 296 total to take the top spot by 8 shots over Chesnee.
“I don’t know if we can shoot a 296 every time out, but we are capable of playing this well,” said Bill Brasington, the Wolverines coach. “This is where we wanted to be at this point in the season,” he said.
The Wolverines Daniel Brasington shot a 4-under par 68 to be the top individual in the qualifier.
“I just stayed patient,” said Brasington. “This is our home course and I know it pretty well. I didn’t make a bogey today and had a few good par saves,” he said.
In this tournament the Wolverines benefited from some home course knowledge, the state championship will give that advantage to Camden. The Bulldogs finished the Upper State in a fourth place tie with Emerald.
Brasington is the only Wolverine player who has played the Camden course in the Creed Junior championship. His advice for the rest of his team is simple.
“Long is wrong and stay between the trees,” said Brasington.
1 Woodruff 296, 2 Chesnee 304, 3 Mid Carolina 322, 4 (Tie) Emerald, Camden 330, 6 Clinton 333, 7 Broome 342, 8 Chapman 349.
Individual Qualifiers, Jaden Carver – Crescent, Will McAllister – Pendleton, Tyson Gentry – Senec
The hottest golf team in South Carolina will bring a pair of wins with them when they take the tee at Lexington next week for the AAAAA championship.
The Rock Hill Bearcats won the Southern Cross team championship over the weekend and added the top qualifying spot from the Upper State tournament at Woodfin Ridge to their recent accomplishments.
The Bearcats have never won a state golf championship, but after the last week Rock Hill is taking dead aim at making some history.
“I guess we could be the favorite,” said Rock Hill golf coach Matt Bell. “We have never been in this situation before so we are going to enjoy it while we get ready for state,” he said.
The Rock Hill team has grown up together. The majority of the players have been together since the fourth grade and are all playing their best at the same time.
“I’ve coached for 10 years so I have been watching these boys grow up and get better and now we have a chance to do something that has never been done here,” he said.
Rock Hill shot a 283 total to qualify for state. The team was led by a pair of future Gamecock golfers and a past Orange Jacket champion.
Last year’s Orange Jacket champion Zach Rueland shot a 6-under par 66 at Woodfin Ridge to lead his team. The two Gamecock commits, Manning Sloop and Nick Mayfield backed up their teammate to finish 3-shots in front of Dorman.
Junior Golf in the York County area has been on an upswing over the last four years. Juniors from the county and surrounding counties have contended and won SCJGA events. The natural progression has put those junior All-Stars in position to now win state titles.
Rock Hill finished third in the state last year and with the teams best players only juniors the Rock Hill coach sees a bright future for his program.
“Our players are getting better and we like our chances next week. Finishing in front in the Upper State is a big step forward for us,” said Bell.
Thomas Hollingsworth had the best round of the qualifying tournament. The Dorman senior shot a 7-under par 65. It was his best round ever on the Woodfin Ridge course and improved by nine shots his score in the county high school championship.
“I was four under on the front in the county and it got away from me on the back nine,” said the Cavalier golfer. “Today I was four-under on the front again, but I played the back better,” he said.
Spartanburg County High School champion Nathan Franks shot a 6-under par 66 to help the Cavs to qualify for the state.
“I think the last day at State is going to be interesting. Our whole team is playing well. We know we will see Rock Hill again,” said Hollingsworth.
Upper State AAAAA Qualifying Teams
1 Rock Hill 283, 2 Dorman 286, 3 Fort Mill 290, 4 Mauldin 298, 5 Spartanburg 301, 6 (Tie) Boiling Springs, Wade Hampton 318, 8 Hanna 319.
Individual Qualifiers, Ian Faulconer – Mann, Zander Briggs – Woodmont, Seth Taylor – Gaffney
AC Flora finished the AAAA qualifying tournament where they usually end up state tournaments, on top. The Eagles shot a 303 to take the first spot by 2 shots over Eastside.
The defending AAA champion Brandon Masters from Wren shot a 5-under par 67 to post the best individual score.
AAAA Qualifying Teams
1 Flora 303, 2 Eastside 305, 3 Palmetto 312, 4 Blue Ridge 313, 5 Wren 314, 6 (Tie) Lancaster 317, Greenville, 8 Travelers Rest 322.
The AAAA championship will be played at the Port Royal Plantation Barony course on Hilton Head Island, May 13-14th.