10/18/05 — Forbis, Newell lead CBA golf

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Forbis, Newell lead CBA golf

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 18, 2005 2:05 PM

Charles B. Aycock's opponents might have wished for something more than a flat tire that occurred during the team's trip back to the Walnut Creek Country Clubhouse on Monday afternoon.

No one has certainly been able to level the playing field against the talented Golden Falcons this season. The 1-2 tandem of Kelli Forbis and Brooke Newell turned in another dominating performance in the final Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season match.

Forbis-Newell combined for an 88 -- 14 strokes lower than county rival Southern Wayne in the five-team meet. Wilson Hunt finished third with 106, followed by Wilson Beddingfield (108) and Eastern Wayne (117).

C.B. Aycock owns a 62-stroke advantage heading into Thursday's 18-hole tournament at Willow Springs Country Club in Wilson. A shotgun start is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Nestled along its 180-acre lake, the Walnut Creek layout challenges golfers with its meticulously-landscaped and lightly-rolling fairways. Luckily, the players didn't have to contend with the back nine that includes numerous water hazards.

Several coaches added that the dogleg fairways lead to a "long" course and leave little room for error, which translate to higher scores.

Admittedly, the players struggled with their fairway shots and two- or three-putted due to fast greens. And as if that wasn't enough, they contended with pin placements either in the center or back of the greens.

Still, Forbis turned in a medalist-winning 7-over par 43 -- her fifth individual victory in ECC play. Newell, whose confidence has bloomed the last two weeks, shot a 9-over 45 -- her lowest nine-hole score in league play this season.

"Brooke is steadily improving with her mental game," said C.B. Aycock coach Meghan Fields. "She's had the ability all year. She's practicing harder and concentrating more.

"My girls weren't used to these greens at all. They're much faster than Willow Springs or Lane Tree. These greens are quick."

Jordan Hill, who played in Forbis' group, ended the day with a 48. Teammate Alyssa Bradshaw provided a 54, which helped the Saints slide past Beddingfield 511-512 in overall stroke play.

Wilson Hunt's Kari Peedin ended up fourth overall with a 50, while Beddingfield's Betsy Bennett fired a 53. Bennett played in the same group with Forbis and Hill.

Eastern Wayne's Erica Freeman (55), Beddingfield's Ashley Bahne (55) and Megan Gay (55); and Hunt's Sara Boswell (56) rounded out the top 10.

Fields hasn't been surprised by her team's success. Aycock's three-player squad, including senior Emily Stewart, finished 19-1 against ECC opposition with its lone hiccup a one-stroke loss against Beddingfield at Wedgewood Golf Course.

"These girls practice hard every day," said Fields. "Even if we don't have practice because of a (school) meeting, they go out on their own. I think Kelli is really comfortable playing here (at Walnut Creek)."

Fields anxiously awaits Thursday's 18-hole event. Aycock has played twice there against traditional 3-A power Wilson Fike in match and tournament action, and one conference match.

The snug course challenges golfers to hit with precision.

"It's our third 18-hole match, but the fourth time we'll play on that course," said Fields. "It's not that long (yardage wise) and since it's 18 holes, the girls will take more swings than they're used to taking.

"(But) I think they'll do fairly well."

When you've got Forbis-Newell on your side, you've got nothing to lose.