It is a small sample, but a couple of story’s coming from the start of the new girls high school golf season look like they may be repeated often this year.
Blythewood is going to be tough to beat and Chesnee’s Sydney Roberts is going to be in the mix at any tournament she plays.
These two story lines became headlines at The Lady Rebel played at River Falls Plantation.
The Bengals, coming off a win in their season opening event, played even better at the tournament presented by Byrnes High School.
“We had a really good day, “ said Blythewood coach Jason Minkel. “I’ll have to check the record book, but that 282 total may be a school record,” he said.
Individually Chesnee’s Sydney Roberts carded a 5-under par 67 to share medalist honors with Ella Stalvey from Blythewood.
“I didn’t play great, but I was consistent,” said Roberts. “I was just out there grinding,” said last year’s AA individual runner-up..
The Eagle’s senior didn’t make a bogey in her round and thought she left a couple of shots on the course.
Stalvey bounced back from a difficult putting round in the first tournament of the year.
Once she got the putter dialed in it helped her share medalist honors with Roberts.
“I don’t know why, but my putting was much better. I had three birdies in a row to help me shoot 67,” said the Bengal junior.
A very good Gilbert team finished second shooting a 305 total leaving the Indians 23 shots behind the winner.
Fortunately, when it comes time to compete for a state championship the two teams will play in different classifications.
Blythewood was the 2019 AAAAA state champions ending a three year streak of state titles won by Lexington.
Last year the Wildcats struck back to win the championship over the Bengals by a whopping 27 shots.
This year the goal for Blythewood is to get the state championship back.
“We expect to be contenders and our ultimate goal is to be the state champion again,” said Minkel.
The golfers on his team have returned from playing summer golf with an impressive list of accomplishments.
Paige Paolucci won The Blade championship, while Stalvey finished fifth in the WSCGA Foundation championship and sixth in the state junior championship.
Caroline Hawkins won the Peggy Kirk Bell Futures National Championship shooting a 66 in the final round to wrap up the title.
“We encourage our golfers to play a lot in the summer. It gets them comfortable with competition so they have experienced some pressure,” said Minkel.
Two tournaments don’t make a season, but a good start builds confidence and sends a message to the other AAAAA teams that the Bengals look like the team to beat for the AAAAA championship.
“We are going to go week to week, celebrate our personal bests when we have them and push towards our goal of winning a state title,” concluded Minkel.