Golf: Bentonville's girls claim first state championship

Lily Thomas of Bentonville High tees off on the 14th hole Wednesday during the 7A girls golf tournament at the Centennial Valley Golf and Country Club in Conway.
Lily Thomas of Bentonville High tees off on the 14th hole Wednesday during the 7A girls golf tournament at the Centennial Valley Golf and Country Club in Conway.

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


  1. Bentonville^256-249—505

  2. Conway^268-247—515

  3. Rogers^255-267—522

  4. FS Southside^259-270—529

  5. Fayetteville^290-288—578

  6. LR Central^327-303—630

  7. Springdale Har-Ber^330-314—644

  8. Bentonville West^330-328—658


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

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