Thanks to strong performances in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association regional golf championships last week, golfers from Elkin, East Wilkes and Forbush High Schools have qualified for this coming week’s state championships.
The Buckin’ Elks qualified for the 1A state championships as a team and East Wilkes’ Tucker Settle qualified as an individual. The pair of Aiden Lyon and Ethan Hutchens from the Falcons qualified as individuals for the 2A state championships.
Hutchens carded an 81, good enough for ninth place overall, during the 2A Midwest Regional championships at Sapona Country Club in Lexington. Lyon, who earned the final individual qualifying spot, also captured a top-20 finish as the senior finished 18th with an 86
The Falcons finished fifth as team with a 357, falling two spots shy of qualifying a team for the state tournament (only the top three teams and top nine finishers off non-qualifying teams advance to the state tournament).
Eli Sloan finished tied for 26th with an 89 while Joe Hennings rounded out the team scoring with a 101 — good enough to finish tied for 50th. While only the top four finishers garner a team score, Hunter Hall shot a 106 to finish tied for 64th.
East Surry’s Anderson Badgett earned individual medalist honors as he finished a 74 — just three shots over par. The defending Foothills 2A Conference champions also captured the regional team title with a 314. Salisbury (333) and West Davidson (337) claimed the other two spots for teams.
In the 1A classification, the Buckin’ Elks had to best a fellow Northwest 1A Conference foe to qualify for the state championships as a team.
Mitchell (317) and Christ the King (366) claimed the top two spots in the 1A Western Regional tournament at Mountain Glen in Newland.
Elkin wound up tied for third place with South Stokes with a 339. But only the top three teams qualify for the state tournament and the Buckin’ Elks were able to best the Sauras in a tiebreaker.
Elkin benefitted from a top performance from James Owings as the senior finished second in the individual scores with a 71 — two strokes behind Mitchell’s Connor Warren, who took individual medalist honors. Owings claimed third at last year’s state tournament.
Settle earned a state qualifier spot thanks to his eighth-place finish where he carded an 81.
The Cardinals also saw Brady Hall (86) and Ryan Sanders (90) finished tied for 19th and tied for 33rd, respectively.
Paul Brinegar complemented Owings with an 87 — good enough to finish 26th — and Wesley Nations finished tied for 27th with an 88.
Matthew Pelkey wrapped the Buckin’ Elks’ top-four with a 93 to finish tied for 41st.
Judah Christian also competed for Elkin at the regional championship and place tied for 46th with a 95.
Both the 1A and 2A state championships teed off on Monday morning and wrapped up on Tuesday at Longleaf Golf and Family Club in Southern Pines for Elkin and East Wilkes and at Foxfire Golf Club in Pinehurst for Forbush.
After the first day, the Buckin’ Elks are currently in fifth place in the 1A team standings with a 355; South Stanly is in the lead with a 337.
Individually, Owings is tied for ninth with an 82. Christ the King’s Colin Ferrick is in the lead with a 75.
In the 2A tournament, Lyon is tied for 28th with an 84 and Ethan Hutchens shot an 86 — good enough for a tie for 39th. In team ranks, East Surry is currently tied with Midway for first place with a 328.
See the May 18 and May 19 editions of the Elkin Tribune and Yadkin Ripple, respectively, for full recaps.