By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain junior Allison Macke qualified for the State 1-A/2-A Golf Tournament in Monday’s Western Regionals at Newland.
Macke finished in a four-way tie for seventh by shooting 91 at Mountain Glen Golf Club.
Avery, Highland Tech and Hendersonville qualified as teams.
Macke advanced by being one of the top 17 golfers not on a qualifying team.
“I’m very excited for and proud of Allison,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “She played awesome. She had the best score of anybody in our conference.”
After a practice round Sunday, the state tourney will be played Monday and Tuesday at Southern Pines’ Longleaf Golf Club. There will be 18 holes both days. Macke has a 9:20 a.m. tee time.
“I’m proud of the girls for playing in tough conditions,” Melvin said. “We’ve never dealt with cold, wind and fog. It stayed windy the whole time.”
He said the fog began to lift by the 10th or 11th hole. Temperatures were in the 40s when play started and reached the 50s as the day went on.
Senior Madison Broom, who had qualified for the two previous state tournaments, shot 101 to finish one stroke out of a qualifying position.
“It was heartbreaking for Madison,” Melvin said. “She had a rough day. The wind was really messing with her shot because she has a little higher trajectory than some of the other girls. She’s the ideal teammate and leader for the team the way she cheered the other girls on.”
Other scores for the Lady Mustangs were: Autumn Burtt, 106; Payton Broom, 108; and Maddie Stillwell, 130.
“Payton played really well,” Melvin said. “She had a great year as a freshman. Autumn and Maddie both progressed and got better.”
He added, “We had a great season. It was an emotional day. I’m super excited for Allison. She’s worked hard and is excited to go to state.”