The first wave of state championship golf is underway in South Carolina and a pair of teams from the Lowco are in the hunt for state titles.
SCISA kicked off the busy championship season with all three classifications crowning their champions over the course of two rounds at the Hackler Golf Club in Conway, and Hilton Head Christian Academy is atop the SCISA 2A leaderboard after day one, while Hilton Head Prep is second after the opening round in SCISA 3A..
HHCA got out to an early, strong lead in the first round and is in position to cruise to the 2A title. Led by Max Green’s even-par 72, the Eagles’ blistering team score of 295 leads Spartanburg Day by 19 strokes and Orangeburg Prep by 20.
HHCA’s Aiden LaBlanc and Ethan Ducharme carded 2-over 74s, while Sean Engler posted a coach’s dream fourth score of 3-over 75. Hudson Buck’s 78 score did not count towards the Eagles’ leading score of 295, but is good enough for the 10th lowest score of the day. Coach Jason Suddeth’s young team is living up to their expectations and simply dominating the field in the 2A standings after round one.
Two freshmen are atop the individual leaderboard, as Orangeburg Prep’s Harris Holstein and Spartanburg Day’s Granger Amick fired solid 1-under rounds of 71 to lead the West Virginia University commit Green by one. Overall, seven golfers are within four shots of the individual lead, so unlike the team competition, the individual championship is up for grabs in the second and final round Tuesday.
On the 3A side, Trinity Collegiate’s total of 297 leads the loaded field by 10 shots over Hilton Head Prep (307). Porter Gaud rounds out the top three with a team total of 309. The Titans were led by future South Carolina Gamecock Gene Zeigler’s 1-under 71. Zeigler is tied for the individual lead with First Baptist junior Zach Adams.
Hilton Head Prep’s solid round one was paced by Zach Boorom’s even-par 72 and Jeep Patrick’s 5-over par 77. Camilia Burnett’s 78 and Olivia Wilkie’s 80 completed the team’s four counting scores, while the Dolphins’ Tripp Hedden fired an 85.
The team competition looks to be a three-horse race between the big guns of Trinity Collegiate, Hilton Head Prep, and Porter Gaud. The Dolphins will need to fire an impressive team score during Tuesday’s final round to erase the 10-shot deficit if the defending state champions want to keep their title.
By Brian Rietveld