CLEVELAND—Gainesville High’s girls golf team witnessed one of its proud traditions continue on Thursday, and another come to a sudden end in the Region 7-AAA championship at Mossy Creek Golf Course in Cleveland.
Lady Red Elephants sophomore Camryn Cole won her second consecutive Region 7-AAA individual title, becoming the sixth straight Gainesville female golfer to place first individually. The Lady Red Elephants have had one of their own win the individual honors at the region meet in 10-of-11 seasons playing girls golf.
But Cole will be the only Gainesville golfer headed to the Class AAA State Tournament on May 5 at the Trophy Club in Alpharetta, since the Lady Red Elephants (203) finished third as a team in Region 7-AAA. This marks the first time in program history that the Lady Red Elephants haven’t placed in the top two at the region meet to qualify for state.
Cole highlighted her afternoon with a 39 on the front-nine and finished the 18-hole event with an 86. Cole’s birdies on each of the first three holes helped provide enough cushion to ward off a disappointing 47 on the back nine, and edge out White County senior captain Sarah Holmes by two shots.
Cole placed sixth in Class AAA last year, and is eager to crack the top five with an extra year of experience under her belt.
"It’s so exciting to win the region championship," Cole said. "I’m really looking forward to going back to state.
"I fell apart on the back nine (Thursday). ... I think I was getting a little too excited."
Cole’s best hole in the region championship was No. 2 where she hit her tee shot to within a foot of the cup. Her putting was also solid with only one three-putt on the front nine.
Cole came into the region championship shooting a 79, with an eagle, at Mossy Creek one day before. Her region performance was three shots better than the 89 she carded at Mossy Creek two weeks ago in the White County High Spring Swing.
Even though Holmes didn’t win the individual title, she was still all smiles following the region championships. She posted 44s on each side for a new personnel best.
Holmes’ 88 and Rosie Cochran’s 108 was enough to earn the Lady Warriors (196) second place in region, and qualify for the state meet for the second consecutive season after winning the region title in 2007.
Holmes was especially happy with the afternoon after getting disqualified for a rules infraction during last year’s region championships.
"Sarah really redeemed herself for what happened last season," White County coach Trecy Kent said. "She was lights out today."
This marks only the third time in school history that White County has qualified for the state meet.
"It’s very exciting to be going back to state," Holmes said.
Cochran rebounded from a 61 on the front nine to shoot a 47 on the back nine for White County.
Pickens (193) won the Region 7-AAA title led by Amanda DeJiamco (95) and Aly Ratazzi (98).