Local teams hold their own at Palmetto Championship

mbgolf-driveWho says there’s no such thing as home-field advantage in golf?

Waccamaw High, led by a sizzling 66 from Patrick Golden, shot an 8-under 280, the best score in the qualifying round at the prestigious Palmetto High School Golf Championship on Thursday at True Blue Golf Club in the Warriors’ home town of Pawleys Island.

Nearby Myrtle Beach High is in the top five after the first round, and North Myrtle Beach’s McClure Thompson is in the top 10 competing as an individual.

Twenty-eight teams and more than 150 individuals from seven states are competing in the event. Waccamaw will lead 12 teams into Championship Flight play as 36 holes of golf are left to determine the winner of the 19th annual event.

Frederica Academy of St. Simons Island, Ga., shot a team score of 292, the second best effort of the qualifying round, followed by Myers Park NC) at 297. Myrtle Beach recorded the fourth best score of the day, shooting 300.

The Seahawks didn’t have a player shoot par or better but relied on a balanced scoring effort to stay in contention, led by Dock Jarman (73), Holden Grigg (74), Seth Boyce (76) and Keegan Vaugh (77).

Golden’s six birdie, no bogey round was the best of the day, and his Waccamaw teammate, Trey Salley, shot a 4-under 68, equaling the second-best round. Charlotte Christian’s Connor Armistead shot 68, highlighted by a 31 on the back nine.

The 54-hole, college style event opened Thursday with a qualifying round at True Blue Golf Club. The Friday and Saturday rounds will be played at True Blue and its sister course, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, both of which are ranked among America’s top 100 public courses.

Caledonia is ranked 24th on Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 You Can Play, a ranking of America’s best public courses, and True Blue is 77th on the prestigious list. Both layouts are Mike Strantz designs that offer distinct, yet equally dramatic and memorable experiences.

Caledonia, which is equal parts art and architecture, plays through a stunning piece of lowcountry land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. A round at True Blue, while completely different from a design perspective, is no less captivating. Strantz used waste bunkers, which frame many of the course’s fairways, to craft a layout that is among the area’s most visually stunning.

Current PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler, the 2006 champion, and Harris English are among the Palmetto’s distinguished alums.

Photo by Terry Massey

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