10/25/11 — 3-A East golf regional

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3-A East golf regional

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 25, 2011 1:50 PM

NASHVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock survived the tough battle and Tara Simmons enjoyed another "relaxing" day during the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A girls eastern regional golf tournament a sunsplashed Monday afternoon.

Simmons repeated as the regional champion with an 18-hole round of 5-over par 77 on the Birchwood Country Club layout. The Golden Falcons claimed the team title with a three-player score of 299.

South Central finished second at 301, followed by Southern Nash 303.

All three teams qualified for the NCHSAA state tournament, which will be played next Monday and Tuesday on the West Course at Foxfire Golf and Country Club.

"I played really well except my putting was a little off ... kept rolling them up to within three inches (of the cup) and they wouldn't drop," said Simmons. "Hopefully by the time states roll around, I'll be able to roll a few of them in."

Jessie Stewart carded a 105 and Jordyn Howell completed Aycock's team score with a 117. Madison Aycock improved on last year's regional performance by 20 strokes.

"As a team, we've worked hard and improved a lot," said Simmons. "Madison improved by 20 strokes from last year's regional, and that shows how hard that we have worked as a team to achieve this goal.

"We're really excited and we're going to work hard this week to perform well at states."

A junior, Simmons just wanted to make sure she posted a low score for the team and said she enjoyed playing a round with Currituck's Marley Felthousen and South Brunswick's Ashley Sloop.

One year ago, Simmons claimed the NCHSAA 1-A/2-A/3-A regional championship on the final hole.

"Last year I think, not that it was important, but having Mallory Warrick (Fike), Mary Catherine Donovan (Topsail) and Emily Brooks, it felt like a greater accomplishment last year," said Simmons. "We all battled until the end and it came down to the final hole."

Simmons had just one birdie on the day and double-bogeyed No. 18.

"It's a tough little course," said Aycock head coach Roger Rhodes. "You hit (the green) and there is not a single one that is level anywhere on it. Those greens were as fast as greased lightning.

"But we're still alive as a team and as far as what we've set our goals for (this season)."