10/11/05 — Falcons running away with ECC

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Falcons running away with ECC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 11, 2005 2:18 PM

Brooke Newell spent Sunday afternoon wrapped tightly in a jacket and lounging on a sofa in the Goldsboro Municipal Course clubhouse. Newell battled possible flu-like symptoms and her parents urged to stay home from school Monday.

Newell refused her parents' request.

Sniffling and contending with miserable weather, Newell managed a nine-hole round of 46 on Monday afternoon at Lane Tree Golf Course. She recorded the lone birdie of the 19 participants and helped Charles B. Aycock run away with its third Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference victory of the season.

Coupled with Kelli Forbis' medalist round of 42, the Golden Falcons amassed a two-player total of 88 -- 14 strokes lower than runner-up Southern Wayne. Aycock owns a commanding 361-404 lead over Wilson Beddingfield in season-long stroke play.

Southern Wayne is third at 409, followed by Wilson Hunt (451) and Eastern Wayne (453).

Misty conditions greeted players before they teed off in the fourth ECC meet of the season. The mist slowly turned into a light, chilling rain that slickened the greens. Players struggled to keep balls from skipping into the rough surrounding each hole.

While the inclement weather might have forced some golfers to change their initial game plans, the course layout presented plenty of other challenges. The first nine holes feature tight, tree-lined fairways and water borders at least seven holes.

"On this course you have to stay out of trouble because you can get in some places, and get some really big numbers if you don't hit the ball as straight," said Southern Wayne coach Mike Connelley. "Some courses you can hit the ball off the fairway and you're still OK. Here you're not.

"I think the up-and-down nature of the course hurts the girls a little. The conditions were tough, but that's golf."

Forbis carded three pars and six bogeys en route to her 6-over par round. The Aycock junior seized medalist honors for the fourth time this season.

"It was really wet out there and my putting ... I was leaving everything and two-putted two or three greens," said Forbis. "I wasn't getting any roll out of it. I try not to change my game on days like this because it can mess you up later.

"It really doesn't rain a lot, but it is hard to adjust playing in the rain."

Forbis played in a threesome with the Saints' Jordan Hill and Beddingfield's Besty Bennett. Bennett finished with a 51, while Hill carded a 52.

While Forbis turned in a sub-par performance by her standards, Newell contended with her fever and rough play on the first couple of holes. But she regrouped and eventually birdied the par-4, 330-yard No. 1 hole.

"I'm very proud of Brooke," said Golden Falcons coach Meghan Fields. "She was 1-over the last five holes. She got off really good start (early in the season) and kind of got in a slump, but is picking it back up to where she needs to be.

"I think she lacked the confidence she needed ... mental more than her ability to play."

Newell's effort helped boost Aycock's record to 15-1 in ECC play.

Meanwhile, Lynn Grantham paced the Saints' second-place effort with a nine-hole score of 50. Southern Wayne shot its second-lowest team total in four matches.

"I thought the girls played good and I'm really proud of Lynn," said Connelley. "She's been working really hard to get better. I'm happy with the way we're getting better (as a team).

"Aycock is really good and those two girls have been playing well all year. You admire them because they're solid in their games, they don't make a lot of mistakes."

Erica Freeman and Melissa Ricker led Eastern Wayne with scores of 61 and 62, respectively.

Kari Peedin ended up seventh overall with a 54. Teammate Sara Boswell tied her season-best score of 59 in conference play.

The teams conclude regular-season play next Monday at Walnut Creek Country Club. The conference tournament is scheduled for Oct. 20 in Wilson.