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Pritchett, Cole earn state golf berths

For the first time in approximately a dozen years, Halifax County High School will have a representative in the Virginia High School League girls state golf tournament.

Comets golfer Anna Carole Cole finished second in Monday’s Girls Zone Qualifying Golf Tournament at Green’s Folly Golf Course to earn a berth in the state tournament to be played Monday and Tuesday at Jefferson Lakeside Country Club in Richmond.

The other state tournament berth went to Tunstall High School golfer Katie Pritchett, who won Monday’s tournament with her round of 81. 

Halifax County High School Head Coach David Graham said Cole, a junior, is the first girl from a Comets golf team to earn a berth in the state tournament through a qualifying tournament. He noted that the last Halifax County High School student to compete in the state girls tournament was Leslie Hughes some 10 to 12 years ago.

Cole finished third in this tournament last year and missed earning a berth in the state tournament by one position.

“I’m very excited for Anna,” Graham continued.

“Anna played hard. She was nervous like all of the other girls but she never gave up. She did what she needed to do. Anna has been part of our varsity team, has played in some varsity matches this season and has helped us along the way. I’m not surprised about the effort she gave today. She got rewarded for a good year.”

Pritchett was the class of the field, with her round of 81 topping Cole, her closest challenger, by 13 shots. 

“This was one of my goals for the season,” said Pritchett, who, like Cole, will be participating in her first state tournament.

“This was really important to me.”

Pritchett’s round did not get off to the best of starts. She four-putted the first green and ended up with a triple bogey on the first hole.

“I started off badly, but then I calmed down and got it all back together on the back nine. 

“My putting was a little off at the beginning, but I finally got used to the speed of the greens.”

Pritchett bounced back to par the par-3 second hole, picked up a bogey on the third hole, and knocked down pars for the most part after that.

Cole survived a tough challenge from Bluestone High School junior Macey Mills, who finished second in this tournament last year and earned a berth in last year’s state tournament. She was five strokes up on Mills after the front nine but found herself clinging to a two-shot lead going into the 17th hole.

Despite a triple-bogey 7 on the 17th hole, Cole was able to add a shot to her lead and go into the final hole with a three-shot edge. Cole finished with a two-shot advantage to earn the runner-up spot and the second berth in the state tournament.

“Qualifying for the state tournament means a lot to me, but not just to me, also my mother, dad and Coach Graham,” Cole remarked.

“I’m just happy right now.”

Cole said her focus going into the last nine holes was beating Mills. After taking a double-bogey on the 10th hole, Cole knew she had her work cut out for her the rest of the day.

“I had five (shots) on her on the front, and I started letting it go a little bit and I had to dig deep and find another gear and get it back,” Cole explained.

“I just knew I had to basically keep up with Macey. If I stayed near her I felt like I would be fine.”

The Comets’ Lauren Spencer also participated in Monday’s tournament. She finished fourth in the eight-player field. Only the top two players qualified for the state tournament. 

Spencer, a junior, placed fifth in this tournament a year ago.

“Lauren played well,” Graham remarked.

“She just had a few bad holes and a couple of big numbers that took her out of it.”

Ironically, Pritchett and Cole are good friends. They have played golf together several times during high school contests over this season and last season.

After Monday’s tournament, the pair were laughing, exchanging phone numbers and hoping they may have a chance to be in the same foursome during one or both days of next week’s state tournament.

‘We’re good friends,” Katie said, looking at Cole with a big smile.

“I love playing golf with Katie,” Cole quickly chimed in.

“It’s such a joy playing with her.”

Then came a big hug.

“I was kind of bummed we didn’t get paired together today,” Pritchett concluded.

 

Results

Katie Pritchett – Tunstall HS – 40-41-81

Anna Carole Cole – Halifax Co. – 44-50-94

Macey Mills – Bluestone HS – 49-47-96

Lauren Spencer – Halifax Co. – 49-49-98

Sarah Thomason – Rustburg HS – 62-49-111

Becca Dickerson – Rustburg HS – 65-59-124

Emma Thomason – Rustburg HS – 64-63-127 

Cierra Hodnet – Rustburg HS – 60-71-131