The Rockingham women’s golf teams “Drive for Five,” the quest for the programs fifth-consecutive 3A NCHSAA state championship, unfortunately didn’t come to pass as Cox Mill’s light’s-out play on the second day clinched the title at Foxfire Resort and Golf in Jackson Springs on Tuesday afternoon.
Cox Mill’s Elizabeth Lohbauer ran away from the field in the final round, posting a 2-under, 70, to finish with a 1-under for a 143 total. Lohbauer ripped off three birdies on the opening five holes to card a 33 on the front nine and maintained a 4-shot overnight advantage on Emily Mathews from Eastern Alamance who also shot 70 in the final round.
Lohbauer combined with Riya Modak and Brook Sutton on day one to push Cox Mill out to a three-shot lead over the four-time defending champions Rockingham County. Kennedy Brady and Hailey Ellis joined the action for Cox Mill on day two, carding a 79 and 81 respectively to help the Chargers to a 14-shot win over the Cougars. The championship is Cox Mill’s first team state championship in women’s golf.
“I really hate that we were not able to complete the drive for five, but I am proud of the girls for fighting until the end and not giving up. We did not play bad, Cox Mill just played better. Lohbauer played two excellent rounds and Kennedy Brady and Hailey Ellis stepped up for them and played some of the best golf of their careers,” Rockingham head coach Mike Williams said.
Lady Cougar seniors Riley Hamilton finished in fifth place overall with a two day total of 155, 11 over par outing while teammate Victoria Cook was seventh with a 156, 12 over performance. A starter since her freshman season, it was Cook’s fourth-consecutive trip to the state championship.
RCHS’s Elli Flinchum finished in championship play tied for 18th with a two day total of 170 and Olivia Peterson was 39th overall posting of 186 on Monday and Tuesday.
At the conclusion of the championship, Peterson and Hailey Ellis from Cox Mill were selected as winners of the NCHSAA’s Sportsmanship Award presented by the North Carolina company Farm Bureau Insurance.
At the end of day one, Rockingham was three strokes back of Cox Mill who led with a score of 237 to the Cougars 240.
Hamilton (79), Cook (80) and Flinchum (81) were neck-and-neck on day one to keep the team in the hunt and Peterson rounded out her first round with a score of 95.
Lohbauer led the field by two strokes on the first day of play with a 1-over, 73, had her Chargers in front of the team competition by three shots over RCHS.
She opened her morning with a trio of pars before dumping in two straight birdies on the par 4, fourth, and par 3, fifth. However, the red numbers were short-lived, with Lohbauer giving back two shots fall to even-par with a double bogey on the par 4, sixth. She remained steady until a bogey on the par 3, 17th. Lohbauer led Hailey Pendleton from Weddington by two shots and Emily Mathews of Eastern Alamance by four strokes.
Even though Rockingham fell short of their ultimate goal of bringing home a fifth-straight title, the Lady Cougars have secured their place as one of the top programs in the state.
“I was really proud of the girls for the way they handled themselves in defeat. Riley and Victoria finished tied for fifth and seventh respectively, and I am really proud of them for contributions to our golf program and wish them luck next year at ECU and UNCG. Sophomores Elli Flinchum and Olivia Peterson finished 18th and 39th which makes me feel good about the future of our program. I know they will work hard in preparation for next year, as I am sure Victoria and Riley will also in hopes of helping their colleges next year. Winning conference and regional’s and finishing second in the state is a good year for any team. I’m proud of the girls,” said Williams.
For complete results state wide, visit nchsaa.org.
2019 Golf Team Championship Scores
Team R1 R2 Tot. To Par
Cox Mill 237 230 467 +35
Rockingham 240 241 481 +49
Charlotte Catholic 248 251 499 +67
Marvin Ridge 257 246 503 +71
Weddington 251 253 504 +72
Eastern Alamance 266 252 518 +86
Topsail 266 262 528 +96
Cape Fear 274 255 529 +97
Southeast Guilford 282 277 559 +127
Cleveland 280 280 560 +128
Asheboro 282 301 583 +151
South Johnston 295 292 587 +155
Clayton 329 310 639 +207