North Carolina’s top high school golfers will compete in shortened state tournaments this week, with five Charlotte-area teams seeking to defend their championships.
The boys’ state tournaments are set for Monday, and the girls are set to play Tuesday.
All of the events will be in the Pinehurst area.
High school golfers won’t have much room for error in state tournaments this season.
In the past, state golf tournaments have been 36-hole, two-day events, but the N.C. High School Athletic Association has cut those to 18-hole competitions this year. That is due to the condensed high school sports season resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.
Two teams qualified for the state tournaments from regional events held last week, along with top individuals from each regional who were not members of the qualifying teams.
The boys have not participated in a state championship for two years, as the spring 2020 tournaments were wiped out by the COVID-19 shutdown.
But Mecklenburg County swept the four boys’ divisions in 2019, and all those defending champions are back again this year – Myers Park (4A), Charlotte Catholic (3A), Lake Norman Charter (2A) and Community School of Davidson (1A).
Also in the field is a defending individual champion – Union Academy’s Caleb Surratt in 1A.
The girls will compete in 4A, 3A and 1A-2A tournaments, with Cox Mill returning to defend the 3A title it won in autumn 2019.
Also in the field are the returning 1A-2A (Oak Grove) and 4A (Pinecrest) champions.
Here is a look at this week’s state championships.
4A (at Pinehurst No. 2)
Myers Park’s title in 2019 was the school’s fifth, but its first since 1956. Cole Chambers, who finished tied for eighth individually, is back for the Mustangs. Joining him are Lucas Pearse, Charlie Fetter and Shimp Parker. Fetter, a junior, shot the team’s best score in the West Regional, a 70.
Also in the field is Ardrey Kell (Jeremy Edmunds, Ben Chase, Michael Currie and Aedan Barnes), which was second in the regional.
Individual qualifiers are Providence’s Colin Salema, Aidan Browning, and Lukas Pokrzywinski and Porter Ridge’s Haden Ruby.
3A (at Longleaf Golf and Family Club)
Three Charlotte-area teams are in the field, including Midwest Regional champion Charlotte Catholic and West Regional champ Stuart Cramer. The third team is Marvin Ridge, the Midwest runner-up.
Charlotte Catholic is seeking its third straight 3A crown. Junior Clay Tardif and sophomore Luke Guthrie led the team with 1-under-par 71’s in the regional meet. Also on the team are senior Nick Rubino and freshman Cornell Beans.
Stuart Cramer’s team is Eli Kinlaw, Rich Wills, Luke Cochran and Hunter Miller. Marvin Ridge has Ryan Dunn, Ryan Curran, Jeremy Voigt and Jack Wieler.
Individual qualifiers from the West regional were Forestview’s Nick Norman and Tate Smith and Freedom’s Alex Bock. Individual qualifiers from the Midwest were Cooper Burris of Northwest Cabarrus and Cox Mill’s Kenny Walter.
2A (at Pinehurst No. 6)
Lake Norman Charter and East Lincoln qualified as the top two teams in the West Regional. Senior Carter Busse, who posted the best score in Lake Norman Charter’s 2019 state title tournament run, returns for the Knights. Other team members are Will Dalton, Brandon Spinks and Garson Long.
East Lincoln’s team is Deacon Ziker, Drew Coppin, Will Faulkenberry and Trent Wharton.
West Regional individual qualifiers were Maddon Whittington (Hibriten), Connor Brown (Shelby), Atley Gabriel (Bandys) and Lexton Ford (West Caldwell). Salisbury’s Will Fowler qualified from the Midwest Regional.
1A (at Foxfire Red)
Community School of Davidson is going for its third straight state crown. The Spartans tied with East Surry for the Midwest Regional crown. Team members are Connor Maddox, Rafe Davison, Jackson Maze and Reese Davison.
Lincoln Charter’s team of D’yanni Rhyne, Sam Bruce, Austin Lineberger and Jonathon Jones qualified as the West regional runner-up.
West individual qualifiers were William Spicer (Thomas Jefferson Academy), Jackson Tedder (Cherryville) and Kaden Smith (Avery County). Midwest qualifers were Union Academy’s Caleb Surratt and Bradford Prep’s Isar Joshi.
4A (at Pinehurst No. 1)
Ardrey Kell finished second in the West Regional. Knights’ golfers will be Nicole Nash, Shea Smith and Hannah Lindeman. Individual qualifiers are Maggie Magner (South Mecklenburg); Claudia Winterburg, Ella Couper and Scotty Foley (Hickory Ridge); Ellen Pritchard (Myers Park); and Sophia Marijono (Providence).
3A (at Beacon Ridge Golf and Country Club)
Freedom and Cox Mill finished 1-2 in the West Regional.
Freedom’s team is Albany Bock, Christina Fisher and Anna Czarkowski. Cox Mill’s trio is Kennedy Brady, Riya Modak and Kate Crawford.
West individual qualifiers were Layla Meric (Cuthbertson); Kate Dann and Madi Bresinger (Charlotte Catholic); Maddie Wallace and Melissa Wyman (Weddington); and Kayla Hightower (Marvin Ridge).
Qualifying from the Central Regional were Maria Franco (South Iredell) and Hannah Waddell (East Rowan).
1A-2A (at Pinehurst No. 8)
West champion West Lincoln and runners-up Newton-Conover (West) and Pine Lake Prep (Central) are in the field.
Playing for West Lincoln are Leah Matney, Laycee Hoffman and Reese Coltrane. Newton-Conover’s golfers are Camryn Lamp, Sondra Uno and Hailey Hicks. Pine Lake Prep has Carolina Johnson, Caroline Thomas and Alex Moyer.
West qualifiers are Ellie Pittman (Avery County); Sophia Laliberte (East Lincoln); Tess Palmer and Georgia Chapman (Lake Norman Charter); and Allie Witherspoon (Patton).
Central qualifiers are Katelyn Griggs (Gray Stone Day) and Abbie Daquita and Jordan Blake (Mount Pleasant).
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle