High School Golf

North wins All-Star match at The Preserve

The North All-Stars included Head Coach Andy Newton – Greenville, Assistant Coach Arthur Brooks – Byrnes, Henry Hall – St. Joseph;s, Connor Rose, Riverside, Davis Neal – North Augusta, Miles Eubanks – South Aiken, Cameron Biddle – South Aiken , Matthew Baxley – North Augusta, Gage Howard – Woodruff, Cam Baker – Fort Mill. (GolfClub Photo)

With three individual state champions on the team the North All-Stars knew they had players who just last week were at the top of their game.

The annual South Carolina Coaches Association All-Star matches played this year at The Preserve at Verdae was the last high school tournament for 16 outstanding senior players from around the state.

A few on each team didn’t play as well as they hoped in the championships last week so the All-Star event gave them the opportunity to close out their high school career with a good round or two.

Miles Eubanks from South Aiken was one of those golfers who was happy to have another chance in his final high school event.

“I had not been playing very well for awhile and I was excited to be able to come here and get some confidence back,” said the future College of Charleston golfer.

Eubanks, the winner of the 2022 SCGA Junior title, finished 15th in the AAAA Championship and took out some of his frustration on the course at The Preserve at Verdae.

In one of the final day singes matches Eubanks had a battle on his hands with Bishop England’s Sam McMillan.

South Aiken’s Miles Eubanks shot a 9-under par 63 to help the North win back the North-South All-Star title at The Preserve at Verdae. (GolfClub Photo)

In a close match Eubanks closed out the future Anderson University golfer 2&1 to end the match, but both golfers were playing so well instead of leaving the course the two decided to play the final hole.

Eubanks had gotten to 8-under par with one hole to play.

On his final hole the South Aiken golfer was pumped up and pushed his second shot over the 18th green. He pitched back to six feet and rolled in the birdie putt to finish at 9-under par 63.

“It was fun. I played well, but so did Sam, he made a lot of putts, essentially I made a few more,” said Eubanks.

A few seniors who could have been in the All-Star matches were in Ridgeland preparing for the SCJGA Match Play championship this week at the Congaree Golf Club.

Eubanks will join them and takes the confidence from a great final round with him.

“Playing this well is going to help me next week (SCJGA Match Play),” he said.

The All-Star competition was divided into three sections.

The South won the opening modified alternate shot competition on Saturday morning.

The North bounced back with a win in the Best Ball afternoon matches to take a 4 1/2 to 3 1//2 lead into the singles finals on Sunday

The North team took command of the final round and went on to win back the North-South title by a final score of 9 1/2 to 6 `1/2.

“I had the best players in the state,” said North coach Andy Newton. “This was about the easiest coaching job I’ve ever had,” he joked.

Recently crowned Class A champ Henry Hall from St. Joseph’s was one of three state individual champions on the North team for the North-South All-Star Matches at The Preserve at Verdae. (SC Coaches Photo)

With AAAA champion Davis Neal from North Augusta, St. Joseph’s Henry Hall the Class A champion and AAA champ Gage Howard from Woodruff, Newton’s team was stacked.

All three state champs won their singles matches along with Eubanks, the other North team singles match winners were Riverside’s Connor Rose, Cameron Biddle from South Aiken and Cam Baker from Fort Mill.

“We were missing some kids, but you look at the scores here or go back and look at the state championship scores and you can see high school golf is thriving in South Carolina. The number of players who can break par in every tournament is increasing and the competition is strong,” he said.

While high school golf is getting better, playing high school golf is becoming more of a challenge. The boom golf has experienced since Covid has made it more difficult for high school teams to find courses and practice time.

“It is a big challenge now. Our coaches have to work extra hard to find places to play and practice. We can’t say enough about the courses that are helping high school golf. We appreciate everyone of them and hope a few more will join in,” said Newton.

The North’s winning coach had particular praise for the effort by The Preserve at Verdae professional Paul Albert and his staff.

“It wasn’t easy this weekend to get the course in great playing condition, but Paul and his staff and the grounds crew pitched in and made it a great weekend for the boys. We can’t thank him at the Preserve enough,” said Newton.

Members of the South All Star team included Head Coach Roger Smith – River Bluff, Assistant Coach Ian Lenke – Summerville, Grant Skelley, Winn McKittrick – Camden, Ashton Eubanks – River Bluff, Sam McMillian – Bishop England, Simon DiMaggio – West Ashley, Jack Lubkin -Beaufort, Ryan Bozard – West Ashley, Jones Saylor – Bluffton,

With the win the North leads the All time series, which begn in 1997, 15-11.

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