There are a myriad of state championship trophies inside the Tiger Athletic Complex these days, but Bentonville High's girls golf team had never contributed to hardware cache -- until now.
The Lady Tigers captured the program's first title by winning the Class 7A state tournament Wednesday at Centennial Valley Country Club in Conway. Bentonville finished with a two-day team total of 505, 10 strokes better than a Conway team which played on its home course.
Centennial Valley Golf & Country Club, Conway
Casey Ott, Conway^77-67—144
Sydney Staton, Southside^70-78—148
Lilly Thomas, Bentonville^78-80—158
Kinslee Miller, Bentonville^82-81—163
Sydney Stiener, Conway^86-78—164
Lauren Loeb, Mount St. Mary^81-86—167
Amanda Sakalares, Rogers^84-86—170
Payton Smith, Rogers^82-90—172
Terry Uhm, Southside^90-87—177
Kennedy Walters, Rogers Heritage^89-91—180
Maggie Mosier, Rogers^89-91—180
Lauren Shepard, LR Central^97-84—181
Chloe Ellis, Bentonville^96-88—184
Kaitlyn Haynie, N. Little Rock^96-88—184
Palak Ojha, West^95-93—188
Anna Rechtin, Fayetteville^97-91—188
Anna Ziegler, Fayetteville^97-98—195
Sarah West, Fayetteville^96-99—195
Chloe Kordsmeier, Heritage^106-95—201
Katie Settle, Southside^99-105—204
Anna Karen Witte, Fayetteville^107-99—206
Kailey Fender, Har-Ber^107-99—206
Sydney Billington, Bentonville^105-101—206
Abbey Ott, Har-Ber^105-102—207
Sam Stiener, Conway^105-102—207
Paige Raborn, Central^106-102—208
Erin Culhane, Rogers^109-101—210
Maddie Stephens, Bryant^109-105—214
Xinyi Qiu, Southside^110-109—219
Cierra Boren, West^114-106—220
Ashley Desalvo, Cabot^109-124—233
Kaycie Merrell, Cabot^109-126—235
Kirsi Grafton, Har-Ber^124-113—237
Jacquelyn Hays, Bentonville^122-116—238
Lilly Harrop, Har-Ber^118-120—238
Sarah Raycher, Conway^119-121—240
Brooklyn Waller, Bryant^115-128—243
Kate Pillow, Conway^122-122—244
Lauren Baker, Central^128-117—245
Starling Ledbetter, Fayetteville^129-124—253
Lizzie Hutson, Central^124-129—253
J. McKnight, Rogers^128-126—254
Molly Myers, West^135-129—264
Madison Robertson, Central^133-132—265
Katie Eddy, West^121-148—269
Caroline Cain, Har-Ber^140-132—272
Erica White, West^142-133—275
Sydnee Carlisle, Southside^144-141—285
"I'm so ecstatic with the way the girls competed," Lady Tigers coach Lindsey Davis said. "It took all three girls to do it, and it's an awesome feeling to be taking this state championship trophy home."
Bentonville, which finished as state runnerup two of the last three years, entered Wednesday's second round with a one-stroke deficit to Rogers High, which won the 7A-West Conference championship as a result of Tuesday's play. The Lady Tigers then fired a 249 and trimmed seven strokes off Tuesday's total to move into front.
Lilly Thomas struggled at the end of her final round with a bogey-bogey-triple bogey over the final three holes, but the junior's two-day total of 158 was still good for third place in the medalist standings. Sophomore Kinslee Miller made up some of that when she cut a stroke Wednesday and finished fourth at 163.
"I didn't finish as strong as I would have liked," Thomas said. "I started getting nervous over the last three holes."
Bentonville's biggest difference came from No. 3 golfer Chloe Ellis. The junior, who fired a 96 during Tuesday's opening round, came through with an 88, including a birdie on the par-3 No. 14 and pars on five other holes.
"She had three holes left, and I told her we had a one-stroke lead when we probably had five," Davis said. "She told me 'I've got this' and parred the next two holes.
"We needed her to be steady, and I think she was nervous the first day, which is normal. I knew I was putting a lot of pressure on her at the end, but I also knew she could handle it."
Rogers, who had all three golfers finish among the top 10, finished third with a 522, seven strokes ahead of Fort Smith Southside. Amanda Sakalares led the Lady Mounties with a two-day total of 170 and finished seventh, while teammates Peyton Smith was eighth at 172 and Maggie Mosier was tied for 10th at 180.
Conway's Casey Ott used a bogey-free, 5-under par 67 to claim the medalist title. Ott compiled a even-par 144 over both days to surpass first-round leader Sydney Staton of Fort Smith Southside, which finished four strokes behind.
Ott, which trailed Staton by seven strokes before Wednesday's round, erased the deficit in seven holes. She hit birdies on No. 2 and No. 7 while Staton had bogeys on her first three holes, followed by a double bogey on No. 4.
Ott's third birdie came on No. 9 -- a 484-yard par-5 hole -- gave her the lead for good.
"At the beginning, I just told myself to go have fun," said Ott, who wore a massive white bow in her hair as a gag during Wednesday's round. "This was probably going to be my last time to play this course in competition, so I decided to have fun and play loose. I knew at the beginning that if I could get her on the ropes a little bit I'd have a chance."
Southside's Xinyi Qiu turned in the shot of the day, hitting a hole in one on No. 4, a 119-yard par 3.
Sports on 09/28/2017