Tuesday was just “another day at work” for the Reagan girls golf team. If you consider winning a third state championship in four years and setting individual and team records along the way just another day.
But that’s the way one of the team’s two coaches, Jay Allred, described the Raiders’ unprecedented success Tuesday at Pinehurst No. 5.
Senior Morgan Ketchum shot a NCHSAA-record 7-under-par 65 for a two-round total of 140 to win the Class 4-A individual title, and Ketchum, Macy Pate and Anna Howerton combined for a three-player, two-round record score of 434 to win the team championship.
“I don’t want to belittle it any way,” Allred said, “but the only feeling or emotion is that it was just another day at work.”
“We knew how good they were,” said fellow Reagan coach Mary Kate Bowman, “and we knew that if they brought their A-game then there wasn’t going to be a competition.”
The Raiders brought their A-plus game Tuesday after what, for them, was a disappointing first round that ended with Reagan and Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons tied in the team standings. This is a team that now owns virtually every North Carolina high school scoring record in girls golf.
“We just didn’t play well that first round,” Allred said, noting that the Raiders missed a lot of putts. “Mary Kate and I talked about it and we weren’t surprised. Macy shot 57 a couple of weeks ago and Morgan was the conference player of the year. We just kind of went into it last week maybe not taking it as seriously and weren’t as focused in practice as we hoped they would be.”
The standard is high for a program that has produced four individual state champions in 10 years, including Pate last year as a freshman and Allred’s daughter, Victoria, in 2011. At one point during the spring season, the National High School Golf Association had the Raiders ranked No. 1 in the country.
Pate, who won the 4-A individual title in the spring, was the regional runner-up to Ketchum. Each shot 3-over 75 on Monday before turning it around.
“It was just relaxing,” Allred said of the Reagan standouts’ day-to-day improvement.
Ketchum, whose year-round work ethic in practice at Maple Chase Golf and Country Club set the tone for the Raiders throughout the season, led the way Tuesday.
“The biggest satisfaction for us is that Morgan Ketchum came home with the win,” Bowman added. “We’re not biased by any means toward any of our girls, but if you knew Morgan Ketchum … she’s the kid who, when it’s pouring down rain and nobody’s supposed to be hitting golf balls, there she is hitting balls for two hours. This kid is the hardest-working golfer most people around the game would agree they’ve ever known. She’s had four years of great high school golf and is just so deserving.”
Ketchum, who will play for Virginia Tech next year, finished her high school career as a part of three state championship teams. Ruth Anne Asbill also is a senior for the Raiders, but Pate, Howerton and freshman Hillary Gong will be back seeking more titles for Reagan.
“They’re great friends,” Allred said, “but they try as hard as they can to beat each other and then just laugh and joke and give each other a hard time afterward.”
Northwest Guilford's Leah Edwards finished sixth, with a 3-over 147 total. West Forsyth was seventh in the team competition with a 483 total, led by Mary-Paige King (T20, 156).
• In Class 3-A at Foxfire Resort's Grey Course, Rockingham County (576) finished third in the team competition, 11 strokes behind first-place Wilson Fike, with Oak Grove (611) seventh. Elli Flinchum led Rockingham County with a 166 total and finished sixth. High Point Central's Emma Niebauer (163) was the top area individual, placing fourth.
• In Class 2-A/1-A at Longleaf Golf and Family Club, Bishop McGuinnes' Eliza Ofsanko (144) tied for 13th.
NCISAA: High Point Christian's Ashley Limbacher was the top finisher among area golfers Monday in the NCISAA championships at Bryan Park's Players Course. Limbacher shot 3-over 75 to tie for sixth place in the Division II tournament, seven strokes behind champion Karsyn Roberts of Goldsboro Wayne Country Day. Westchester's Madison Dial tied for 11th with an 81.
Forsyth Country Day finished fourth in the team standings with a 274 total, led by Ana Calderon (15th, 86). Wesleyan's Molly Jardina (86) tied for 19th as the only area golfer competing in the Division I tournament.
1. Reagan 225-209–434
2. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 226-225–451
3. Southern Pines Pinecrest 232-235–465
7. West Forsyth 238-245–483
Tag(s): Reagan W - Golf