Sitting three shots back from the top of the leader board heading into the final round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Golf Championships, Laney’s Caroline Cahill finished as 4A state runner-up after hitting a two over par 74, in difficult conditions on Tuesday.
Cahill closed the two-day tournament eight over, two strokes behind individual champion Jennifer Chang. Chang was the defending champion; an Athens Drive golfer has now taken the title each of the last four years. Her 150 total for 36 holes was two shots ahead of the field, and her consistency was demonstrated with 27 pars and three birdies throughout the course of the tournament.
A trio of golfers tied for second with 152 totals, eight over par, including Cahill, Kathryn Carson of Lake Norman and Sam Bennett of Wake Forest. Chang was tied with Cahill in fourth place after day one, but fired an even-par 72 to clinch medalist honors.
After two bogeys and seven pars heading into the turn, Cahill birdied the 465-yard, par-five 15th before hitting bogey on the par-four 17th hole to close at even-par on the back nine. Her final round score was four shots better than her 78 on day one. Over the 36-hole tournament, the junior finished with four birdies, 21 pars, 10 bogeys and one double-bogey.
Ashley senior Katy Flax had one of the most improved rounds in the field and shaved 11 strokes off her opening day score to hit two-over-par 74 during the final round, moving into the top 15. She finished with three birdies on the day to go along with 11 pars, three bogeys and one double bogey. Flax finished at plus-15 to close the two-day event.
After playing bogey golf on day one of the tournament, freshman Jayla Rogers (Laney) and senior Darby Bagshaw (Ashley) both upgraded their scores on Tuesday. Rogers hit eight shots better to finish with 82, while Bagshaw posted 88 to crack top 40-of-78 golfers to tee off on the 5,580 yard, par-72 layout.
At the 3A tournament, Janie Gooch and Jordan Saunders rebounded from the opening round to move up the leaderboard after a pair of quality performances on Tuesday. Gooch hit 21 strokes better in the final round to close with 80, while Saunders posted an 89.
Gooch was eight-over-par in the final round with one birdie and 11 pars, compared to one birdie and just two pars on day one. She finished tied for 29th place of the 78 golfers to compete in the 3A event.
Gina Kim of Chapel Hill led wire to wire and took the individual championship at the Red Fox Course at Foxfire Resort and Golf Club. Kim carded a one-under par 71 on a chilly, rainy second day of play to go with Monday’s 68 that featured five birdies, four on the front nine. Her 139 total, five under par, was good for a six-shot advantage over two-time defending champion Siranon Shoomee of Lee.
No. 1 Jennifer Chang, 78-72=150
T-2 Caroline Cahill, 78-74=152
No. 11 Katy Flax, 85-74=159
T-32 Jayla Rogers, 90-82=172
T-40 Darby Bagshaw, 90-88=178
No. 1 Gina Kim, 68-71=139
T-29 Janie Gooch, 101-80=181
T-41 Jordan Saunders, 99-89=188