What a difference a year can make.
Last season, Watauga High sophomore Savanna Wood qualified for the state tournament, and like any freshman, she struggled against the field. But fast forward to this season, and Wood has developed into quite a player.
Wood,. who won the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference
individual championship (the first in school history), followed that up with a school-best fifth place finish at regionals and a fourth place finish at the Class 4A Girls State Tournament Tuesday afternoon at the Pinehurst Country Club Number Six. It's the best showing by a female golfer in school history.
"Playing basketball at the AAU level has really helped me in golf," Wood said. "The pressure of the game has really made me concentrate more on my shots and my approach. To make the perfect pass, or the perfect shot, I don't really panic. I have learned how to relax, to take my time, and it's made me more effective in those types of situations."
Wood, who had a 78 on the opening round, followed that up with a 76 in the final round Tuesday. She finished at 12 over with a two-day total of 154. She only finished five shots behind Victoria Allred of Pfafftown-Reagan, who won the state championship. Allred had a 74 on the final round and finished with a two-day total of 149. She was eight over and bested the field by three shots.
"I've really been working on my swing," Wood said. "I've been playing the game for a long time, but you've got to do a lot of tweaking on things. It takes a lot of patience to play this game, and to play it well. You can't force things. It can be mentally challenging, but it's also a lot of fun. I really enjoy it."
Athens Drive won the team title with a score of 481. Reagan finished ten shots back at 491; Ardrey Kell, which owned a one-shot lead after the opening round, finished third. Alexander Central was sixth.
In Class 3A at the Foxfire Resort, Ashlin Setzer of Fred T. Foard tied for 19th with a 184. She had a 98 in the final round. Bree Keller of Hickory was 26th with a 190.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2011 STATE 4-A WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Pinehurst number six
FINAL RESULTS--TEAM SCORES
Raleigh Athens Drive 241 240 481
Pfafftown Reagan 245 246 491
Charlotte Ardrey Kell 240 253 493
Pinecrest 257 258 515
New Bern 246 272 518
Alexander Central 266 254 520
Apex Middle Creek 276 252 528
Jamestown Ragsdale 285 259 544
Charlotte Mallard Creek 275 270 545
Charlotte Providence 270 278 548
Northwest Guilford 267 287 554
Cary Green Hope 287 280 567
Wilmington Hoggard 279 292 571
Apex 310 299 609
Victoria Allred, Reagan, 10 75 74 149
Allyson Markiewicz, Ardrey Kell, 11 75 77 152
Sarah Bae, Athens Drive, 11 74 79 153
Savanna Wood, Watauga, 10 78 76 154
Savannah Thompson, Pinecrest, 10 76 79 155
Emiley Pagrabs, Hoggard, 12 75 81 156
Logan Garman, Butler, 12 78 78 156
Stephanie Pribonic, Wakefield, 12 74 83 157
Hannah Craver, Reagan, 11 80 78 158
Catherine Ashworth, Fuquay-Varina, 9 76 83 159