Chloe Holder led the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Junior Girl’s championship from start to finish.
The rising junior at Wren High School was the only golfer to shoot under par in any of the three rounds of the tournament played at Mount Vintage Plantation.
Holder had a two shot lead after the first round, a seven shot lead after the second round and finished five shots in front of defending champion Rachel Rich from Daniel Island for her first big victory.
“I had a good tournament in May, but this was the best I played from start to finish,”she said.
Holder didn’t credit above average ball striking or a hot putter, instead she believed it was her confidence that helped her win.
“At the Foundation tournament at Stony Point I shot a 79 in the first round. I came back the final day and shot a 71 to finish third,,”she said.
The confidence she gained in that tournment stayed with her into the state championship.
“Since it was a three day tournament I had a good mind set in the first round because I knew there was a lot of golf to be played,” said Holder.
When the scores were posted she was a litlte surprised to have the lead.
“This was a strong field and I thoiught someone would be close to par, but this is a tough course, especailly to walk,” she said.
Holder was the only golfer to shoot even par in the second round and with her two day total of 143 she pulled away from the field.
Holder held a big lead and it may have affected the way she started the final round. She bogeued the first two holes before getting back on track,
“I think I lost a litlte bit of focus, but I got it back aft3r the first two holes. I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days,” said Holder.
However, like the first two rounds a birdie midway through the back nine gave her the confidence to card a good finish.
“I birdied 14. I knew I needed to make something happen and that got me back to 4-over,” she said.
Rich shot an even par round of 72 to move up to second place.
Karlee Vardas from Lexington and Emma Schimpf from Daniel Island tied for third place.
The win by Holder comes with a bonus. She is now eleigble to play in AJGA events for the next two years.
Holder is just entering the recruiting process to continue playing golf in college. She hopes the win over a strong field in a state championship will gain her some attention.
“I’m going to spend this year evaluating college opportunities. I have a busy summer planned and I hope i can keep playing well,” said the state champion.