Rosewood's Burton finishes runner-up at 1A/2A east golf regional
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 22, 2013 1:49 PM
The groans and a shout of "stop ball!" drowned out the "ahh" from Rosewood's Lindsey Burton when her chip shot went awry on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff Monday afternoon.
Croatan junior LeAnn Domitrovits exhaled a huge sigh of relief. She replaced her marker with the ball, steadied her stance and chipped onto the green that sloped toward the water. The ball teasingly rolled just beyond the cup, leaving her a one-foot attempt for par.
Domitrovits didn't fret too much over her near miss. Burton rolled two consecutive putts beyond the cup, and Domitrovits one-putted to claim 2013 N.C. High School Athletic Association Classes 1-A/2-A eastern regional girls' golf championship at Walnut Creek Country Club.
Croatan successfully defended its team crown with a three-player score of 268. Rosewood emerged runner-up at 295, followed by N.C. School of Science & Math at 310. All three teams qualified for the state tournament next Monday and Tuesday at Longleaf Golf and Country Club in Southern Pines.
Rosewood clinched its second trip as a team to the state tournament in the last three years. Joining Burton are teammates Alana Pipkin, Taylor Gales and Madison Overby.
"I have been extremely proud of our team this year," Rosewood head coach Shay Campbell said. "Each one of our players has shown tremendous improvement throughout the season. We have good team chemistry at practice and during matches. It is a joy for me to see our girls encourage each other and remain positive even if they have had a bad outing at the course."
Domitrovits and Burton concluded regulation play knotted at 86.
They each parred No. 18 and bogeyed No. 10. On their second crack at No. 18, Burton two-putted after a lengthy putt curved slightly toward the cup and lipped out at the last moment. Domitrovits dropped in a short putt to save par and force the decisive fourth hole.
Burton's tee shot on No. 9 easily cleared the water and dropped onto the high ridge back left of the green. Domitrovits' tee shot landed between two ridges, and was nearly in line with the pin in the center of the green.
"I didn't want to chip it into the water and was a little scared thinking hopefully this will pull out, but the chip kind of chunked," said Burton, who hit one shot left-handed during the playoff to avoid losing a stroke.
Domitrovits had the same approach.
"I was thinking do not get to the bottom of the hill," Domitrovits said. "You just need to get it on the green and make the putt happen. It turns out I made a smart enough chip and it nearly worked, so it was a one-putt. It was amazing ... mind-blowing at how well I could concentrate (in the playoff)."
Domitrovits became the second straight Croatan player to claim the individual championship. Teammate Mary Leonard, the 2012 regional champ, finished one stroke back at 87.
The 17 individuals not on qualifying teams also advanced to the state tournament. Princeton's Rachel Mellon ended up in the lower half of the 40-player field and did not make the cut.
"I told Rachel not to worry about her score and just have fun out there," PHS head coach Sherwood Richardson said.
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