It was a solid day for the Clinton Dark Horse golf team during the opening round of the 2016 2A Golf State Championship. The first round was played on Monday at Pinehurst’s Foxfire Golf and Country Club. Clinton shot a team score of 326, and trails day one leader, Wilkes Central High School, by 16 shots entering the final round.
Clinton was led by Reid Darden, who had a tough time putting on Monday, but a great ball-striking round. He was disappointed with an opening round 74, after bogeying the final two holes, but is in 4th place in the individual race, as he is 4 shots back of leader, Logan McNeely from Newton Conover High School.
“I just couldn’t make a putt all day,” said Darden after walking off the 18th tee. “I really had some mis-reads or something. I lipped an eagle from off the fringe on 16, so had a tap-in birdie there, but I am very much disappointed in my finish, bogeying the last two holes.”
Darden’s teammate, Amy Wooten, had a strong back nine, as the extra length didn’t seem to phase her. After a 41 on the front, she turned it around on the back to shoot even par, 36, and get out of the first day with a score of 77. Wooten is currently in a tie for 8th place overall as an individual, and 7 shots back of the leader.
Chandler Perry, the 2016 Four County Conference Player of the Year didn’t have his best stuff on Monday, but he was able to minimize the damage and get in the clubhouse with an 83.
Spell Carr continued to do what is asked of him as the fourth golfer, as he shot a round of 92. Hampton Brock shot 101 for the Dark Horses on the opening day.
Midway’s Trey Pope was not on top of his game either on Monday, but he was able to salvage a round that could have gotten away with him, by shooting an 86. A couple of rough breaks led to a big number on the front nine for Pope, but he was able to turn it around and hit some quality shots on the inward nine. Pope qualified as an individual for the state championship by shooting a 76 in last week’s Regional at Land O’Lakes Golf Club in Whiteville.
The tournament is set to wrap up on Tuesday evening. Information is not available for Wednesday’s paper, but for up-to-date sports news, visit clintonnc.com and follow Sports Editor Adam Capps on Twitter @ac4birdie. Look for the story on Tuesday’s rounds in the Thursday edition of The Sampson Independent.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585