A.C. Flora entered the new high school golf season as the defending state AAAA champions and the top ranked pre-season team in the classification.
The Falcons showed why the voters in the pre-season coaches poll think they are the team to beat for the AAAA title again this year after an impressive win in the Parks Hutto Bengal played at the Columbia Country Club.
Flora held a six shot lead over Oceanside, from Mount Pleasant, after the first round.
Unlike most high school tournaments the Bengal’s format is for a team of four golfers playing for each school with all four scores counting.
The usual high school format is five players with the four best scores counting.
In the second round Oceanside fell off the pace while Trinity Collegiate from Darlington, which competes in the South Carolina Independent School Association, matched Flora’s 288 to move up to second.
The defending champions finished with a 575 total and a 9-shot win over Trinity.
“The secret to winning team golf a lot of the time is boring golf,” Flora coach Robert Dargan said in a post to the high school ‘s website. ” What I mean by this is a lot of fairways and greens hit in regulation and a lot of birdie putts. A few makes here and there and a lot of short par putts or tap ins. It’s a stress free way to play the game and it is beautiful to watch. We did that and a little more,” said the Falcons’ coach.
Coleman Ferguson, a 10th grader, led the Falcons with a 3-under par 141 total.
Adam Hunt finished at 143 to tie for fourth. Future Gamecock golfer Luke Sullivan tied for ninth, while Burch Harrison tied for 12th.
Individually Jay Smith from Trinity came from 2-shots off the lead to fire a 7-under par 65 and claim medalist honors by 3-shots over Luke Walmet from Bishop England.
Boiling Spring’s Andrew Gregory had a hole-in-one to help him finish in a tie for fourth place.