State girls golf championship preview
Lambert will be favored to win the Class AAAAAAA girls championship next week and extend its dominance in the state’s highest level of competition.
The Longhorns have won the state championship the last four seasons and won the Area 3-AAAAAAA tournament by 16 shots.
Lambert has three players capable of shooting in the 70s. The leader is Christine McDonnell, the area medalist who has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Kate Owens, the No. 2 payer, has signed to play at James Madison. Loren Kim Is a reliable No. 3 player.
The main competition may come from Mill Creek, which has two stellar players in Emma Bell and Tess Davenport. Bell has committed to play at Georgia Southern. Davenport won the two-day Woodward Invitational. The Hawks have two girls capable to contributing the third score: Annika Blanton and Allison Avery.
Mill Creek may also have a home-course advantage. The championship will be played at Chateau Elan’s Woodlands Course in nearby Braselton, a venue the Hawks have played.
In the higher classifications, schools may have up to four girls who play and count the best three scores. In the lower classifications, schools count the low two scores.
All state championships will be played over 36 holes and two days.
Here is a look at the other girls state championships:
Class AAAAA girls, Chicopee Woods Golf Club, Gainesville: Dalton returns to defend its title. The Catamounts are led by Katelyn Skiffen, the Area 3 medalist, and Destiny Hill.
But the team to beat may be Pope, led by Lizzie Reedy, Alexis Brindley and Makenna Brindley. The Greyhounds won the Area 3 tournament by six shots over Johns Creek, powered by Amy Ng, Madilyn Zimmerman, Charlie York and Emma Provost. Northview, which was third in the area, should also be a factor with Christyn Carr, Dianna Liu and Michelle Cao.
Class AAAAA girls: Oak Mountain Golf Club, Carrollton: Starr’s Mill has the depth needed to make a run at the title. The Panthers won the Area 2 title behind a pair of 80s from Jocelyn Gao and Ellie Camp and they have two other very solid players in Liza Eubanks and Mary Hunter. Starr’s Mill won its area by 30 shots.
Veterans, led by Mailey Buzzell, have four players who can each break 100, but they’ll need to have a great day to make a run.
Class AAAA girls, Maple Ridge Golf Club, Columbus: This should be a very competitive tournament, with defending champion Woodward Academy likely having to fend off Area 3 rivals Blessed Trinity and Marist in order to repeat.
Woodward, led by Ayanna Habeel, had four players shoot 88 or better at the area tournament. Blessed Trinity, behind Hannah Jones and Sarah Leonard, need better scores at the third slot. Marist, behind Woo Wade, also has the same issue.
Columbus won the Area 1 championship by 68 shots and has three girls capable of breaking 80: Faith Scott, Mary Catherine McDaniel and Madeline Krueger. The Blue Jackets also have a decided home-course advantage for the state tournament.
North Oconee, Madison County and Central Carrollton are also in the picture.
Class AAA girls, Okefenokee Country Club, Blackshear: Defending champion Calhoun is one of the favorites. The Yellow Jackets have four girls capable of breaking 90, led by Kate Mashburn.
Union County also has a quartet of dependable scorers, led by sisters Madison and Allison Horinek. Bremen, second to Calhoun in the Area 4 tournament, also has four reliable. Scorers.
Class AA girls, Applewood Golf Club, Keysville: Defending champion Vidalia has a very good player in Jesse Dalton and three other dependable girls. Other challengers include Social Circle, Pepperell, Davidson Fine Arts, St. Vincent’s Academy and Metter.
Class A Private girls, Green Island Country Club, Columbus: Defending champion Galloway qualified, but shouldn’t contend for the title this spring.
The leading teams include Brookstone, Wesleyan, Holy Innocents’, Darlington, Mt. Pisgah Christian and King’s Ridge Christian. Wesleyan’s Elissa Yang will be chasing her third individual state championship.
Class A Public girls, Landings Golf Club, Warner Robins: Defending champion Portal returns with the one-two punch of Faith Reddick and Layne Clark. But Gordon Lee, behind MaCall Miller, has great depth and should challenge.