Mission accomplished: MB girls punch ticket to state

The Myrtle Beach girls golf team carried a single mantra into the 2011 season – “Two strokes to state.”

The motto refers to last year’s close call at the Lower State Finals, when they missed qualifying for the state tournament by two shots.

As of Monday, the Lady Seahawks have a new phrase – “Mission Accomplished.” They shot 368 in Monday’s Lower State Tournament at Beech Creek in Sumter to become the last of eight teams to qualify for the Class AAA state championships.

“The girls did a great job of staying focused on our goal, and that was to make it to state,” said Myrtle Beach golf coach Brian Kiper. “We shot 20 strokes better than last year so all of them picked up their games.”

Sophomore Pendleton Bogache led the Lady Seahawks with an 87, and the other four contributors were within 11 strokes of her score for a balanced scoring attack.

Junior Cameron Crutchfield shot 91, seventh-grade newcomer Niki Roberson shot 92 and freshman Jasmine Chestnut added a 98 to give Myrtle Beach a 368 total.

But perhaps the most impressive performance came from Miranda Russell, who was sick all week leading up to the tournament but shot a personal best 102. Kiper credits her toughness with helping elevate all their players’ games.

“She had been to the emergency room twice with stomach problems and I didn’t know if she would be able to play,” Kiper said. “So for her to come out and play so well was a bonus. Her score didn’t count, but if we had needed it we still would have qualified for the state.”

The Lady Seahawks will compete in the two-day, 36-hole state tournament next Monday and Tuesday at Quail Creek Golf Club in Conway.

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