BE girls' golf team closes season without playoff crown, but finishes strong overall
The Bishop England High School girls’ golf team’s two-year reign as state champions ended at the Class AAA state championship match. But there are plenty of positives to take away from a season that saw young players mature and improve under tough conditions.
Oceanside Collegiate won the state championship on Oct. 23 with a score of 314 at the River Falls Plantation Golf Course in Duncan. Bluffton claimed second with a 324, while May River was third with a score of 331. St. Joseph’s held down fourth place with a 336 and the Bishops were fifth, carding a 352.
Rain wiped out the first day of the tournament, so the event was shortened to 18 holes. The course is a Gary Player Signature course and plays long. Bishop England coach Christine Ronco said the course was very challenging and the round of golf lasted about seven hours.
After losing two all-state golfers, Kathleen Sumner and Emma Wofford, off of last year’s team, the Bishops will return the entire roster for 2018. The returning players include Kennedy Carroll, Ally Dominiak, Kat Klein, Meredith Kuehhas, Caitlin McCauliffe and Ainsley Western.
Dominiak is an eighth-grader, while Kuehhas and McCauliffe are freshmen. Klein and Western are sophomores. Carroll is a junior, and the individual state champion.
She was the only player who scored below par. She recorded a 71 to claim the individual title.
“We were building this year,” Ronco said. “There’s room to grow. But for the most part, we had two new players on the team and to see Kennedy develop and take over in a leadership role was impressive. She’s really improved and worked hard to succeed. There are no shortcuts to success.”
Klein shot 83, Dominak carded 91 and Ainsley Western scored a 107 in the state match.
The Bishops took their lumps along the way during the regular season. They didn’t play in the traditional nine-hole matches. They opted for more of a challenge and competed in high level events: Carolina Preview, Lady Patriot Invitational and the WSCGA Junior Golf Tournament.
“We competed against Class AAAA and AAAA teams,” Ronco said. “There were times we came in last place, which was a little disappointing. But we held our own against the Class AA and AAA teams.”
Ronco said this year’s team has potential to add to the Bishops’ state championship hardware.
“Absolutely,” Ronco said. “Our numbers have continued to go down from the beginning of the season to the end. The girls work hard. They practice with swing coaches to get better. They want it. They want to succeed.”
“It’s been a great building year,” she continued. “For Kennedy to take over as a leader and play so well … I am very happy to see her make that kind of progress.”