Three days before the Calhoun County girls golf tournament, the unbeaten Lady Valley Cubs went toe-to-toe with an improved White Plains team. In the end, Alexandria won by only four strokes.
“White Plains has improved so much and showed that earlier this week,” Alexandria coach Brenard Howard said. “I think that got my girls’ attention more since that match.”
It showed Friday in the first round of the two-day county tournament. Alexandria took the lead as the team played what top-scorer Jordan Gregoria said was the best it has all season.
Alexandria compiled a 258. White Plains (289) was second, followed by Donoho (320), Oxford (329), Jacksonville (354) and Piedmont (360).
Gregoria shot an 82, the lowest score in the field. Yet, she said her round could have been several strokes better.
“I stayed in the fairway so that helped out and I’d hit the greens, but my putting was messing me up,” she said. “I would over-hit it. I just have to get used to these greens.
“I could have shot in the mid-70s. I was putting for par and would bogey.
“I never double bogeyed, but if I could have just putted like normal or better I would have shot mid-70s.”
But directly behind Gregoria, who was a heavy favorite to shoot the best score in the tournament, was Alexandria’s Katie Roberts, who shot an 83.
“Katie played the best she’s ever played,” Howard said.
Howard added Roberts picked up the slack for Courtney Randle, who struggled with a rare off-day. Jessica Howard finished with the third best score for Alexandria with 93.
“We were just hoping we’d all come in and shoot well and we did,” Gregoria said.
But, Brenard Howard said Alexandria’s play on the greens needs to improve.
“They all hit the ball well and I’m on them all the time and tell them they hit it too well to be turning in the scores they’re turning in,” he said.
Howard said confidence is a much higher entering the final day of the tournament today than it was Friday. Both Roberts and Gregoria added they think they can shoot better rounds, as well.
“We know we can do it and we could,” Gregoria said. “We just have to do our best.”
White Plains was led by Kaley Hinton, who shot a 94. Morgan Prickett shot a 96 and Layne Dyar shot a 99. Alexandria’s Savannah Chaffin, who is playing individually, shot an 87.
Alexandria has won five of the last six Calhoun County girls golf tournaments and finished second in the state two of the last three years.
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.