PINEHURST — North Surry’s Kasie Tolbert shot back-to-back 79s to take second place in the 1A/2A state golf tournament Tuesday.
Tolbert, Gatlin Hiatt and Sarah Holleman played well enough in the bad conditions to raise North Surry from sixth in the team standings Monday to a tie for third place overall at the Foxfire Resort and Golf Club.
Salisbury’s Isabella Rusher led after day one, then shot a blistering 71 Tuesday to clinch the state title by eight strokes over Tolbert. Rusher and Tolbert were the only players to break 80 on both days.
Elkin’s Mary Francis Hall was second after the first day, but like many players, she had a rougher day two. She shot 76 and 86 to finish fourth overall.
The temperature felt a little colder and the wind gusted a little harder at times than on Monday, noted North Surry Coach Daniel Johnson.
“I couldn’t feel my feet,” he pointed out.
East Surry’s Madison Moore shot 82 and 87 to finish tied for seventh. Teammate Lindsay Chamblin also found the going tougher Tuesday, going from 96 to 107.
Elkin’s Annika Winebarger shot 91 and 90 to finish 14th. South Stokes’ Megan Mabe shot 92 and 90 to finish 15th.
North’s Hiatt improved by a couple of shots from 95 to 93 to finish 23rd.
Teammate Holleman had the biggest improvement among the local players. After shooting 113 on Monday, she cut 12 strokes off her score for a 101.
North Surry’s jump from sixth to third goes directly to the play of Hiatt and Holleman, noted Johnson. Tolbert shot the same score, but Hiatt and Holleman cut 14 strokes off Monday’s 287 to put the Hounds at 560 for the tournament. They were just 10 strokes behind Hendersonville at second place.
Salisbury ran away with the team trophy, finishing 60 strokes ahead of second place at 490.
South Stokes finished sixth at 565, just a stroke behind Piedmont. Elkin was eight at 597, 10 behind Northwood.
The Northwest Conference was pretty strong this year, and that showed in the girls’ good performance here this week, Johnson said.
“Kasie finished second overall, so I am definitely proud of that,” he said. She showed superb composure and played flawlessly most of the time, he said. She only had a couple of bad scores over 36 holes.
Hiatt was playing very well, hitting the ball well, he said. Although, her score didn’t fully reflect her nice play.
This was a good way for seniors Tolbert, Hiatt and Holleman to finish their high school careers, the coach said.
Without them, the Hounds will be in a rebuilding year in 2013 behind young players Rachel Hull and Emma Cassell.
East’s Moore and Elkin’s Hall will be back for another run at the title next season.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.