Lady Hornet golfers make SGC history
Team finishes as State Runners-Up
By Logan Watson
Sally Tiger, Bentley Davis and Rachel Tiger made history for South Gibson County High School last week, finishing as runners-up at the State Division I Championship Golf Tournament at Manchester’s Willowbrook Golf Club.
South Gibson’s ladies finished with a final score of 334, just 24 strokes behind the first place team of Christian Academy of Knoxville. The girls posted a 170 at the end of play on Tuesday, followed by a 164 on Wednesday. Davis finished with an individual score of 191 (101/90), finishing in a tie for 35th. Rachel Tiger set her bar high as a freshman, tying for 21st place with a score of 174 (89/85). Sally Tiger also set a personal best in her third appearance at the tournament, scoring a 160 and finishing in 7th place out of a field of 52 golfers.
The Lady Hornets ended day one of play in second place with a team score of 170, edging out CPA by one stroke, but sealed their runner-up finish with some excellent shots. Rachel Tiger sank a 30-foot putt for birdie on the par 5 16th hole, followed by nice chips from Rachel Tiger and Bentley Davis. Tiger birdied the par 3 17th hole, and Davis clenched the historic finish with a chip in on the final hole, a par 4.
SGC was also the highest-ranked public school team in the tournament, beating out five private schools and one other public school who were all stacked with talent.
“It was a blast getting to play with the big dogs,” said Rachel. “We played with the girl that won the state title two years in a row. The girls from CAK were all upperclassmen.”
“I had played with those girls a few times in the past,” said Sally. “I knew that I was going to have to play well to get into the top ten.” South Gibson’s ladies also had to contend with high winds on day one of the tournament, which scattered shots hither and yon across the longer fairways.
“There was a lot of wind on the first day,” said Sally, “so we really needed to make smart choices.”
“Willowbrook is a very narrow course,” said Davis. “There are a lot of houses nearby, so the wind made it difficult to stay in bounds.”
The girls are not without experience or talent of their own, with all three beginning their golfing careers early on. Sally and Rachel began golfing around 2011, while Davis began playing in tournaments in 2012. Golf was a family sport for all three ladies, who learned from their fathers before taking up the clubs competitively in middle school.
With their whole team returning for another run at the state championship next year, the Lady Hornets definitely have what it takes to make school history once again.
“CAK’s best players were seniors this year,” said Sally. “That makes us the head of the pack for next year’s tournament.”
“It’s very exciting,” said Davis of making state tournament history for SGC. “It’s an honor to go on to state with this team and I think next year we can pull out a win.”
While the Lady Hornets will take some time to celebrate this win, they will definately be back on the courses as soon as possible to get ready for next season. All three girls will be picking up practice rounds and competing in the Sneds Tours during the summer months.
“This is a year-round sport for us,” said Sally. “We practice whenever we can.”
“I’m super proud of these girls,” said SGC golf coach Matt Bean. “I’ve had them since middle school and we’ve won almost everything that we could have up to this point.” The Lady Hornets finished their season with an impressive 45-7 record after clenching back-to-back district and region titles. “I think golf gets overlooked sometimes, but I think this year we’ve gone from the hunters to the hunted.”