By Carey Phillips


Smoky Mountain golfers Payton Broom and Chesney Coggins are in the top five after the first two rounds of the Mountain Seven Conference Tournament.

Broom is fourth at 103, and Coggins is fifth at 111 following nine-hole matches last week at Maggie Valley and Etowah.

McKenna Williams of Tuscola has a 13-stroke lead, but Broom is just a stroke back of the two golfers who are tied for second.

Broom shot 50 Sept. 26 at Maggie Valley and 53 last Thursday at Etowah. Coggins had scores of 59 at Maggie Valley and 62 at Etowah.

Tuscola and West are the only schools with the minimum of three golfers to qualify for team standings. SM is the only other school competing.

There are 11 golfers taking part in the event.

The tourney was to continue this week with nine holes Tuesday at Lake Junaluska and 18 holes today (Thursday) at Etowah.

“I feel like Payton has put herself in a good place going into the back half of the conference,” Coach Megan Dezarn said. “She’s been working really hard on her short game in practices, and that is showing.”

Broom has qualified for the 2-A West Regionals, which will be played Oct. 19 at Glen Oaks Golf Club in Maiden.

“Chesney is playing with the newer players since this is her first year,” Dezarn said. “She has been one of the leaders in the newer group. She has a lot of potential to really get better.”