Seahawks must wait as region tourney rained out

The Myrtle Beach girls golf team’s year-long wait to win the region tournament will have to wait a few more days.

Winds and heavy rains forced the postponement of Monday’s scheduled tournament until Wednesday or Thursday, when the weather system is forecast to pass through the Grand Strand.

The Lady Seahawks wrapped up a 9-1 regular season last week, ending it with a seven-match winning streak. But the only number the Lady Seahawks have focused on this season is “two” – as in the number of strokes they fell short of qualifying for last year’s Class AAA state championship tournament.

But first things first, and Myrtle Beach hopes to take care of the number “one” in the Region VIIII-AAA tournament at Wedgefield Plantation in Georgetown. The Lady Seahawks lost last year’s region title by a single stroke, giving them a 1-2 punch of goals to hit in 2011.

“What we’ve done this year means nothing come Monday,” said second-year Myrtle Beach coach Brian Kiper. “Last year we missed winning the region by one stroke and lost at the Lower State by two strokes, so we know now that every stroke counts.

“But it shows we don’t have very far to go to get there. If everyone plays within themselves and puts the bad shots behind them, that could be the difference between winning and losing.”

The close calls were rough on the young team, which was led by two sophomores, a freshman and an eighth-grader last year. But Myrtle Beach has added some even younger blood to this year’s lineup and is hungry to take the next step in this postseason.

Sophomore Pendleton Bogache leads this version of the Lady Seahawks with a nine-hole average of 40, and seventh-grade newcomer Niki Roberson has jumped into the No. 2 spot with a 46 average.

Junior Cameron Crutchfield, a four-sports star who just picked up golf last year, has improved to the point that she is No. 3 on the team with a 47 average, and freshman Jasmine Chestnut has climbed into the top four, although several Lady Seahawks regularly contribute in the five spot.

With its lone loss this season coming to Class AAAA Carolina Forest, which the Lady Seahawks split with in the season series, Myrtle Beach brings a load of confidence into the postseason, when tournament teams use their top four scorers over 18 holes instead of nine.

“Last year we shot 388 at the Lower State and this year’s we’re averaging about 374,” Kiper said. “So we don’t need to play over our heads to accomplish our goals. If we continue to play like we have, we know we have a chance to do some big things.”

Monday’s region tournament will see the top teams advance to the Lower State at Beech Creek Golf Course in Sumter on Oct. 17.

Photo courtesy of MBHS Athletics

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