Athlete of Week: White takes aim at three-peat

If St. James High golfer Jordan White needed any extra motivation to go for a state championship three-peat, she got it one week before the start of her senior campaign. White shot a lights-out 69 at Seabrook Plamtation to win the South Carolina Junior Golf Association Tommy Hubert All-Star Championship, erasing a seven-stroke deficit on the final day to claim the prestigious tournament.

“It was crazy. I never came that close to 69,” said White, who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after beating her previous tournament-best round of 73. “I’m not saying this like bragging, but I just really couldn’t miss anything that day. My putts were falling, I made some long ones, I was just hitting some really quality shots. It was all coming together that day.”

Even more surprising than her final score was the fact that it could have been even better. After making birdie on 15, White double-bogeyed 16 and 17 for the only flaws of the round. She closed out by making her seventh birdie of the day on 18, and waited patiently while her best friend and caddie tallied her final score.

“I was trying hard not to think about my score so I could just focus on finishing strong,” White said. “I thought I had blown it with those back-to-back doubles but after I birdied 18 he said, ‘I think you just shot 69.’ … I couldn’t believe it because I wasn’t even in the final group. It was a great way to get a win.”

White now turns her attention to leading the Lady Sharks to a third straight state title, and her role is much bigger than her play on the links. As a senior on a team laden with middle schoolers, White feels the added responsibility to helping the younger players feel a part of building a dynasty.

“It’s my senior year and I haven’t been more excited for golf since I joined the team in the seventh grade,” White said. “(Ex-teammate) Katie Smith always joked that I am the mom of the team. I’m always like ‘Does everybody have their shoes, does everybody have their clubs?’ We have two seventh-graders on the team and I remember how scared I was. I just try to make more comfortable and enjoyable for them.”

White got her first taste of senior leadership in last weekend’s season-opening Aynor Lady Blue Jackets Invitational at Diamondback Golf Club in Loris. With junior two-time state individual medalist missing to play in an out-of-state junior tournament, White had to be the voice of calm for her younger teammates playing in a major tournament for the first time. St. James fell short against some of the state’s top programs, but the Lady Sharks have their eyes fixed on a bigger prize – another state title.

“That’s what we’re going for,” White said. “We didn’t lose anybody off of last year’s team, and everybody is playing better – both individually and as a team. We should be a force to be reckoned with, and I want to help our younger players get better so they can keep it going after I’m gone.”

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