SOUTHERN PINES — Three years after finishing fifth in the conference, the Corinth Holders boys golf team recorded a more notable fifth place finish - and one they’re certainly more proud of - Tuesday.
The Pirates had the third lowest team total of the second round and claimed a fifth place finish in the NCHSAA 2A state championships at Longleaf Golf and Country Club. Corinth Holders finished at 633 for the 36-hole event, 21 shots behind state champion Newton-Conover and just six shots out of third place.
“I am pretty excited to be the coach of this talented young team,” said Corinth Holders coach Theresa Gale. “After they went undefeated in conference play they started to really believe in themselves. They were determined to make it to the state championships and winning the 2A mideast regional boosted their confidence even more.”
Monday’s opening round brought a few surprises for the Pirates, namely Brandon Corbitt’s career-best round of 79. But there were also some struggles putting and that left the Pirates with a team total of 320 after day one.
Freshman Nick Routhier led Corinth Holders with a 75 on the opening day.
“The teams and players are re-paired based on the first day’s score,” Gale said.
“This put Brandon in a tough situation because he was playing as the No. 2 man, a position he was not used to. Nick, Sam (Baxter), and Monty (Fields) all have tournament experience and I believe their tournament experience helped them post better scores the second day.”
Routhier closed with a pair of birdies in his last three holes on the second day to shoot 2-over-par, 73. That moved him up to fifth individually on the final leaderboard at 6-over for the tournament.
Newton-Conover’s Alex Hefner was the individual state champion at even-par, 142.
In the team race, Salisbury took fourth at 632 and third went to Shelby (627). State runner-up North Lincoln finished fourth shots behind Newton-Conover.
Baxter finished at 156 and tied for 19th individually, while Fields came in at 163 (tied for 28th).
“Sam Baxter had a few birdies throughout his round posting a 74,” Gale said. “Unfortunately the putts were not falling for Monty Fields, but he fought hard to post a 79.”
Corbitt came in at 167, while Will Stanley shot 173 and Kellan Labonte was at 174.
“They guys were a little upset that they did not play better the first day, but it was their first time at the State Championships and they learned a lot,” Gale said. “I am so very proud of these young men and I look forward to next year’s challenges of moving up to 3A.”
Best: 919-524-8895; @dclaybest