Published: Sep 28, 2012 03:24 PM
Modified: Sep 28, 2012 03:25 PM
SANFORD - In most parts of North Carolina, the round that Middle Creek’s Britney Smith shot at the Sanford Golf Course would have stood apart from the majority of competitors.
Not so in the Tri-Nine Conference, however, as eight other girls were within four strokes of Smith, with two tying her mark of 37, and Lee County freshman Muk Shoomee besting them all with a 36 on her home course Wednesday.
Players are learning that the Tri-Nine is a tough conference for golf, one that features players and teams that have an opportunity to earn high marks next month in the regional and state competitions.
“You can play at a lot of tournaments that don’t have the level of competition we see here in this conference,” said Smith, a senior.
“Because of the quality of golfers, you have to improve and you really learn to play well under pressure.”
Smith, who tied with Fuquay-Varina’s Catherine Ashworth and Green Hope’s Maddie MacClurg for second, notched an eagle Wednesday.
They were closely followed by MacClurg’s teammate Maddie Lee (38), Athens Drive’s Sarah Bae (39) and three more Green Hope Falcons: Amanda Yanonni (40), Selena Turner (40) and Sophie Riegel (41).
Green Hope edged Middle Creek 115-121, with Apex (128) narrowly finishing ahead of Fuquay-Varina (129) and Holly Springs (133), and Lee County (134) right behind.
“Academics and golf go hand in hand, and this conference has both,” said Green Hope coach Donna Lerner. “It’s the strongest conference in the state.”
Lerner, whose Falcons were edged by Middle Creek on the same course three weeks ago, said the goal for her team is the same as it was heading into the year: to send all five starters to the state competition.
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