A league of their own

ewarnock@newsobserver.comSeptember 18, 2013 

Caroline O'Neil of Cardinal Gibbons carded a 36 over nine holes Monday at Chapel Hill Country Club to win the week's Central Carolina Golf Conference match. East Chapel Hill's Sarah Towne, in a tight race with O'Neil for the season's best stroke average, finished second with a 40.

With three golfers scoring in the top five for a team score of 126, Cardinal Gibbons continued its string of team wins in the conference matches, improving to 4-0. Ellen Smith shot a 44 and Liesl Miranda a 46 to take fourth and fifth place, respectively for Cardinal Gibbons.

A trio of Northwood golfers — Logan McClamroch, Lauren Merrill and Karen Vanderford — each shot 49 Monday for a team score of 147 and the Chargers' fourth straight runner-up finish behind Cardinal Gibbons.

East Chapel Hill's Eliza Irwin carded a 55 and Shiloh Jin 56 as the Wildcats took third place with a 151.

Heather Hancock of Jordan Matthews entered the match as an at-large player, her first Central Carolina event, and shot a 42 for third place individually.

"It was a really good match," East Chapel Hill coach Henry Essey said. "The course was in great shape and the weather was perfect."

Monday's golfers played the back nine for the first time this season at the country club, site of the league's championship tournament Oct. 17. They had played the front nine in a CCGC event Sept. 3 at the country club.

"We'll play 18 for the championship, so it was good to let them see the whole course," Essey said.

The composite conference of 2A, 3A and 4A schools was formed a few years ago because so few leagues have enough women's golf varsities to get much competition. Schools must have at least three players entered to earn a team score in a CCGC match.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro are Charter members of the golf conference, helping it to earn recognition from the N.C. High School Athletics Administration, but didn't enter enough golfers in Monday's match to register a team score.

Chapel Hill sophomore Catherine Yang shot a 57 as the lone Tiger entered, and Meghan McPeak of Carrboro posted a 58 as the only Jaguar.

Chapel Hill coach Jim Williams recently sent an email to other CCGC members, warning them that four varsity golfers had missed at least one match, the maximum number of scratches allowed for a golfer to stay in contention for all-conference honors.

O'Neil and Towne seem well on their way to making the all-CCGC team, which is based upon season's scoring average.

Towne won the previous conference match Sept. 3 at the Chapel Hill Country Club with a 35, the season's best round so far by any CHCC golfer, and entered last week's event with a cumulative three-stroke lead over O'Neil, 113 to 116. O'Neil matched that 35 in the conference match Sept. 10 at Wildwood Green in Raleigh and now leads the league in season's scoring average with 38.0. Towne has a stroke average of 38.25.

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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