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Monday, 09 September 2019 22:23

Lady Raiders shoot to fourth-place finish in season opener at Pinehurst No. 5

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Pictured clockwise are Richmond's Hailey Miller, Kenleigh Frye, Kirsten McDonald and Lauren Humann in Monday's season opener at Pinehurst No. 5. Pictured clockwise are Richmond's Hailey Miller, Kenleigh Frye, Kirsten McDonald and Lauren Humann in Monday's season opener at Pinehurst No. 5. Deon Cranford — The Richmond Observer.

PINEHURST — What proved to be an uncharacteristic day on and off the golf course for the Lady Raiders ended in a fourth-place finish in the team’s first match of the season.

The Richmond Senior High School girls’ golf team traveled to Pinehurst No. 5 Monday, and faced off against several other Sandhills Athletic Conference teams. Second-year head coach Keith Parsons’ team would finish fourth overall, shooting a team score of 484.

Battling temperatures in the mid-90s, the Lady Raiders also faced some adversity off the golf course. Adding to the afternoon’s affairs was a split utility pole, which knocked out power to over 500 people in Pinehurst.

The Pilot in Southern Pines reported that a vehicle accident caused the power line pole to split, which separated the teams from the pro shop and access to No. 5. The incident occurred roughly 45 minutes before the match’s start time, but golfers were still forced to bypass the incident while Duke Progress Energy attended to the scene.

Golfers rode in golf carts a couple of blocks to Morganton Road between The Cradle and the horse track, and were assisted in crossing Highway 5 by police officers before arriving at No. 5.

Richmond’s senior and No. 1 golfer Hailey Miller started her season with a team-best 91 (+19). She shot her best on the front nine, posting a 45 (+9), before ending the final nine holes with a 46 (+10). 

“We fought hard today on a very difficult course,” Parsons commented. “I’m impressed with how everyone did for the first match. I expect we will build on this and be better at next week’s match.”

The Lady Raiders used just four golfers Monday, seeing newcomers and juniors Delaney Driggers and Angeli Yang follow the action with Parsons to gain experience before their first round of competitive high school golf.

Sophomore returners Kenleigh Frye and Kirsten McDonald placed second and third, respectively, for Richmond. Frye posted a score of 122 (+50), shooting a 61 (+25) on the front and back nine. McDonald wasn’t far behind, shooting a 127 (+55). She had started the afternoon with a 64 (+28) on the front, before picking up a stroke on the back nine (63, +27).

Senior Lauren Humann, who is also new to the sport this fall, capped the Lady Raiders’ performance in her high school debut with a 144 (+72). She was +38 on the front (74), before finishing the back nine a little better with a 70 (+34).

Reigning SAC champion and host Pinecrest High School took first in the season opener, seeing its top four golfers combine to shoot a 348 (+60). Jack Britt High School, which finished second last season, took the second-place spot with a team score of 410 (+122).

In front of Richmond in third place was Purnell Swett High School, seeing the Lady Rams edge Richmond by 42 strokes (442, +154). Rounding out the standings in fifth place was Scotland High School (499, +211).

The SAC is comprised of eight schools, but Hoke County High School isn’t fielding a team this year. Lumberton High School didn’t have enough golfers to qualify for the team score, and Seventy-First High School wasn’t present at Monday’s match.

Richmond will be back in action next Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Gates Four Golf and Country Club in Fayetteville. The match will start at 2 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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