GREENSBORO – The Rockingham County women’s golf team picked right up where they left off last season, winning their first Mid-State 3A Conference match of the 2019 season on Monday at Bryan Park.
Rockingham finished with a team score of 113, 11 strokes better than second place Northern Guilford, who closed out the day with a 124.
Eastern Alamance was third with a 137 followed by Western Alamance (164), Person (188) and Morehead (196).
Eastern Alamance’s Emily Matthews garnered the top score of the day with a 36, but Rockingham’s steady scoring ultimately helped win the event. RCHS’s Victoria Cook was just one stroke back of the leader at 37, and teammates Riley Hamilton and Elli Flinchum each scored a 38 while Olivia Peterson tallied a solid 42.
“We got off to a really good start in conference play. I know the girls will continue to work hard in preparation for the regional and state tournament. They have been playing in tournaments all summer, and all of them have improved. I am looking forward to a great season and cannot wait to see what these girls accomplish when they get to college,” Rockingham head coach Mike Williams said.
The drive for five
Rockingham has won the last four-consecutive 3A NCHSAA state championships, and it didn’t take long after winning last season for the team to start talking about what they are calling “the drive for five” in 2019.
Bringing home a fifth-consecutive state championship in women’s high school golf has never happened before, and Williams said with virtually all of his state championship team returning, the Cougars feel like they can make another run this season.
Seniors Hamilton and Cook are back along with sophomore Flinchum in 2019. The trio combined for a two day total of 493 to best Cox Mill and Northern Guilford who tied for second with a 506.
Peterson, a sophomore as well, is back after a strong freshman campaign and that experience from top to bottom could be the Lady Cougars ace in the hole.
RCHS came back from a 2-stroke deficit in the final round last season in the state championship match to take over the lead for good.
Rockingham won the programs first state championship in 2015 led by Hailey Joy, Olivia John and Elli’s older sister Evin Flinchum.
Flinchum transferred to Durham School of Science & Math, then Cook stepped into her spot as a freshman in 2016.
The Trio of Joy, John and Cook won two more titles together in 2016 and 2017. After losing Joy and John, two top 10 high school golfers in the state to graduation, questions lingered as to whether or not Rockingham could once again win a championship with a new core.
The program got a huge boost when Hamilton joined the team after she won an individual championship at Carlisle in 2017.
Now, all the pieces seem to be in place, and the Cougars are prepared to make another run.
Rockingham will be back in action with a road trip to compete in the Mill Creek Conference Tournament on Monday, Sept. 16.
Monday, Sept. 9 Scores
Victoria Cook 37
Riley Hamilton 38
Elli Flinchum 38
Olivia Peterson 42
Ashyln Strickland 39
Siana Wong 42
Cami Rivas 43
Emily Matthews 36
Chandler Bryant 49
Riley Beck 52
Abigail May 53
Makayla Martinez 53
Sadler Gwynn 58
Grayson Brann 60
Haley Thomas 63
Savannah Shumaker 65
Angel Dickerson 52
Rockingham County Girls Golf Schedule 2019
Tuesday, Aug. 20 Greensboro National Rockingham
Thursday, Aug. 22 Maple Chase Reagan
Wednesday, Aug. 28 Greensboro National Rockingham
Thursday, Aug. 29 Greensboro National Rockingham
Tuesday, Sept. 3 Meadowlands Ledford
Thursday, Sept. 5 Carlson Farms Northern Guilford
Monday, Sept. 9 Bryan Park Conference
Monday, Sept. 16 Mill Creek Conference
Wednesday, Sept. 18 Jamestown Park, Ragsdale
Monday, Sept. 23 Greensboro National Conference
Wednesday, Sept. 25 Caswell Pines Conference
Monday, Sept. 30 Indian Valley Conference
Thursday, Oct. 3 Carlson Farms Northern Guilford
Monday, Oct. 7 Oak Hills Conference
Thursday, Oct. 10 Greensboro National Rockingham
Monday, Oct. 14 Greensboro National Conference Tournament
Monday, Oct. 21 Greensboro National Regional Tournament
Monday, Oct. 28 Foxfire State
Tuesday, Oct. 29 Foxfire State