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Lady Tigers golf advance to GHSA State Tournament
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Sophomore Mariah Benson fires a shot towards the 10th green on April 23 at the Chestatee Golf Club in the 3-AAA area tournament. - Photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County girls’ varsity golf team secured a spot in the GHSA AAA state tournament with a sixth- place finish in the 3-AAA girl’s area tournament on April 23 at Chestatee Golf Club.

A quartet of Lady Tigers, sophomores Maddie Anglin, Mariah Benson and Kenzie Smith, along with junior Cosette Huthwaite combined the team’s best three scores from the 18-hole course for an overall score of 316 to grab the last open slot for this year’s state tournament.

Smith, who has posted the Lady Tigers lowest score in every match of the season, once again led the team with a round of 96 on the par 71 course. Huthwaite followed with a score of 104 while Benson posted a 115 to top-off the team’s total score.

“Everything is designed for them to be playing their best golf right now,” Head Coach Michael Parker said. “We played our best round when it mattered most.”

The tournament featured 52 golfers from 13 teams across north Georgia. Each team fielded four golfers and used the three best scores to create a combined total. The top six teams with a combined score below 330 advanced to the GHSA AAA state tournament along with the top two individual golfers not already on a qualifying team.

Unlike most other sports the teams in golf come into the regional tournament unranked and unseeded as the sport does not officially track records during the regular season.

“As far as team’s standings, there are no standings for golf,” Parker said. “The only thing that matters are the area tournaments.”

The Lady Tigers will have almost a month to prepare for the state tournament as it is not scheduled to take place until late May which was welcome news for Anglin’s parents, Mark and Brianna, as they watched their daughter’s progress around the regional course.

“This is her first time playing the sport, she has only been playing seven weeks and she seems to be almost a natural at the game,” Mark Anglin said. “I can’t wait to see her play after another month of practice.”

Benson joined the sport at the same time as Anglin and, despite their inexperience with the game, the two have quickly become half of a team that has improved all season and is entering the state tournament firing on all cylinders.

“Our girls have a shot at state, and we are looking forward to seeing how they respond.” Parker said. “With our team being so young, this will be a great opportunity to gain some tournament experience for the future.” 

The GHSA AAA state tournament is a two day, 36-hole tournament scheduled for May 20-21 at Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Richard B. Russel State Park in Elberton.