Top golfers from across the state opened play on Monday at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s (NCHSAA) 35th girls’ golf championships.
For the 13th year in a row, the NCHSAA is holding classified championships and for the fifth consecutive year they’re being held at three different venues across the state. First round action saw six representatives from the Wilmington area competing in the 3A and 4A events.
A pair of golfers from Laney and Ashley took the trip to Pinehurst for the 4A contest as 78 players teed off on the 5,500-yard, par 72 number six course. Caroline Cahill (Laney) is tied for fourth, just three strokes back after she posted a six-over-par 78. Hailey Freedman and Madison Isaacson each scored 75 on day one to sit atop the field.
Cahill was one-under after six holes when she sank a birdie putt on the 438-yard par-four fifth hole. She bogeyed the final three holes of the front nine to finish at 38 heading into the turn, but ran into a little trouble on the back, with two birdies, two pars, four bogeys and one double bogey over the final nine to close the afternoon.
Ashley’s Katy Flax put an 85 on the board in round one, while teammate Darby Bagshaw and Jayla Rogers (Laney) played bogey golf to finish at 90. Flax finished with eight pars on the day, tied for 27th place among the 4A competitors.
Jordan Saunders and Janie Gooch qualified for the 3A tournament from South Brunswick after strong performances at last week’s East Regional. Playing on the 5,703-yard Red Fox course at Foxfire Resort and Golf Club, Saunders parred four holes during round one, including a pair of par-three’s on the back nine and a 487-yard par five fifth hole. She finished the round at 99, while Gooch closed with a 101.
Gina Kim fired at four-under-par 68 to claim top spot on the leaderboard heading into final round oplaf y on Tuesday. Two of the other 77 golfers are at even-par, including Siranon Shoomee of Lee County, who won the last two individual state championships. She hit 71 last week to win the 3A Eastern Regional title.
T-1 Hailey Freedman, 75
T-1 Madison Isaacson, 75
T-4 Caroline Cahill, 78
T-27 Katy Flax, 85
T-46 Darby Bagshaw, 90
T-46 Jayla Rogers, 90
No. 1 Gina Kim, 68
T-57 Jordan Saunders, 99
T-63 Janie Gooch, 101