North Augusta golf team’s season ends in Sumter
The North Augusta High School golf team came up just short in Sumter.
The Jackets saw their season come to an end Monday at the Lower State qualifier. North Augusta shot 317 as a team, missing by a single stroke. Earlier in the week the team also participated in the Southern Cross Tournament and shot 484 as a team.
At the Southern Cross, which took place at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, Christian Manley shot a 77 and an 80 to lead the team. He finished in the top-40 in individual scorers. Chase Marzulo shot a 77 and 87, Ben Adams had an 81 and an 84 and Banks Williams had a 79 and 87.
“The Southern Cross is one of the premier golf tournaments in the state of South Carolina,” said North Augusta head coach Louis Mackie. “We shot well as a team the first day. The conditions were very tough both days, the first day it was very windy. Two of my guys had never played the course, so for them to shoot the scores they did says a lot about them. On the second day conditions weren’t any better. Now everyone has to play the same conditions I’m not complaining but, once again, I brought two freshmen. That’s saying a lot about them.”
Mackie also noted that he felt his players shot well man-to-man compared to the competition. He felt that Manley, the lone senior on the team, also showed excellent leadership.
“He was actually disappointed in his score,” Mackie said. “He had high expectations and I did, too. I had high expectations of him. He missed a lot of makeable putts and for him to shoot what he did, missing makeable putts, is an encouraging sign. You want to make them, yes, but it shows you’re doing the right things to get in a position to make those shots.”
In the Lower State qualifier, Mackie said that he honestly felt his team “played well.” Due to the competition, however, any mistake by his team led to an opponent capitalizing.
“To say we came within one stroke says a lot about our guys,” he said. “The teams that beat us out are really good teams. That goes to show you the quality of play down there.”
Marzulo led the team with a 78 and Manley shot an 80. Though those scores may seem to be on the higher side, Mackie noted that was the “going rate” for the course.
Though the season is over, Mackie knows the future of the team is bright.
“I’m proud of them, because there were a lot of question marks coming into the year,” he said. “Everyone knew we lost Matt NeSmith and they didn’t know how we would respond. I think everyone used that as fuel to prove to people that we’re more than just one man. We did that, we played in tournaments and competed with teams that people didn’t think we would compete with. With five freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior I’m really, really, really looking forward to the summer.”
Mackie also made a promise for the competition.
“One thing you can mark down we’ll be back,” he said.
Scott Rodgers is a reporter at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.