By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain is second after the first round of the Mountain Six Conference Golf Tournament.
Hendersonville shot 137 last Thursday at Connestee Falls to SM’s 140. Franklin is third at 160 with Pisgah fourth at 166. Brevard did not have enough golfers to qualify for team standings, and East Henderson did not compete.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how awesome we played,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “All five girls played extremely well. Connestee Falls is a tough course. Over the last two years, our previous best score at Connestee Falls was a 155. I think we’re in a great position to fight for the championship, especially since we will play the final two rounds on courses that we are the most comfortable with and know every hole very well.”
The second round was set for Tuesday at Waynesville Country Club. Results were not known at the Herald sports deadline. The third round will be today (Thursday) at Mill Creek.
“Hendersonville will be a tough team to beat, and they are all playing at a high level right now.” Melvin said. “We knew coming into the tournament that we will have to shoot in the low 130s as a team to win each round. We have our work cut out for us, but I hope we proved to ourselves that we can do it.”
Madison Broom leads SM with a 45. She is tied for second overall, just one stroke behind Hendersonville’s Alexandra Mills.
Payton Broom is second for the Lady Mustangs at 47, and Autumn Burtt is in the third soring position at 48.
“One of Madison’s strong points is rising up in high-pressure situations,” Melvin said. “I think being close will help her focus even more on her goal of defending as the conference medalist.”
He said freshman Payton Broom continues to play well.
“It was exciting to see all the work Payton has been putting in this season come to fruition in the first round of the tournament,” the coach said. “We have watched her progress over the last few months, and she is starting to peak at the right time.”
He said Burtt’s consistency is taking “her average lower and lower every match she plays.”
Allison Macke shot 54, which Melvin said wasn’t the result of a bad day but of a bad hole or two.
“We’ve seen how well Allison is capable of playing, and I expect her to rebound well,” he said.
Maddie Stillwell shot 56 bringing her closer to qualifying for regionals.
“She is really starting to strike the ball very consistently, and I know her best round is coming soon.” Melvin said.