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Lady Ads golf wins state title
Cox, Thornton lead the way in Farragut championship push

SAVANNAH — Steady, consistent play throughout the tournament — and staying out of the dreaded woods — allowed the Farragut High School girls golf team to win a state championship.

With senior Megan Cox and sophomore Erika Thornton leading the way, the Lady Ads won the Class AAA state championship golf tournament with a 10-stroke victory (303 to 313 for 36 holes) against runner-up Jefferson County Oct. 12-13 at the Pickwick Landing State Park course.

“It was real tight coming down the stretch, I think with about three holes to play on sixteen it was down to two strokes,” FHS head coach Mike Driver said of a lead that had been cut in half by Jefferson County on the back nine holes. “We had a pretty good finish.”

Thornton, the Region 2-AAA champion, finished sixth individually (152) and closed with a birdie on No. 16 and pars on the final two holes. Cox, who tied for third (151), closed with three consecutive pars.

Driver praised Cox for staying “focused, she concentrates on each shot. Even if she’s not having the best day, she stays focused all the way and doesn’t let it get away from her.”

Cox said she was both calm and confident.

“I wasn’t nervous at all, I don’t think,” Cox said. “I was excited. I pretty much anticipated the win. Going into it, of course, we were real pumped up, like ready to win. We kind of set out a strategy and, like, I knew how my teammate was playing the second day. I thought we were all playing pretty solid.”

As for the emotions of being a state champion, “It felt great, because that’s the first state championship that Farragut’s ever won,” Cox said. “And this is my last year, and of course that was really special.

Late bogies by the Lady Patriots helped Farragut build its 10-stroke margin of victory.

“We played well the last three holes, and Jeff County got a little unfortunate ... that kind of provided the winning margin there at the end,” Driver said.

With the Pickwick course fairways lined with wooded areas that posed potential hazards, “getting off tee and staying in the fairway or just slightly in the rough was a big key for us,” Driver said.

A two-stroke leader after nine holes on day one of the tournament, the Lady Admirals took a four-shot edge over the JCHS Lady Patriots after the first day’s 18-hole round.

With each school having won a tournament against the other during the regular season, “I thought it would come down to us and Jefferson County,” Driver said.

Though her score didn’t count because only the top two scores out of three are taken per team, FHS sophomore Jillian Brodd nonetheless finished tied for 10th (158).

“I think they all stay focused and play each shot, even though Erika had double-bogeyed fifteen,” Driver said. “But she refocused.”

Along with teammates Carolyn Levy and Alyssa Randolph, “all five of ’em contributed throughout the year,” Driver said.

Having won the program’s first-ever state title, “It’s always special, the first one,” said Driver, whose girls team finished second in 2002. “They worked really hard. That was their goal. They were very focused.”

A course approximately 5,300 yards long according to Driver, he described the Pickwick course as “real hilly, and a lot of trees” with “greens that were kind of tough to putt and they had real tough pin placements.”


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