By Erik Harris
CLAY – For the first time in program history, the Clay-Chalkville girls’ golf team has qualified for sub-state play at Cypress Lakes Country Club in Muscle Shoals.
The Cougars did so by finishing fourth out of nineteen at the Section 3 Tournament on Tuesday. Only the top four tournament teams reached sub-state play.
“It all happened in kind of slow motion,” said Clay-Chalkville coach Maggie Rasberry. “We had stayed in fourth place for a while and waiting for three other teams to come in and we were trying to do the math and see how people fared and it literally came down to the last second.”
Rasberry’s girls shot 13 strokes lower than fifth-place Southside-Gadsden to take the final opening with a score of 298. No. 3 Vestavia Hills finished with a shot total of 286.
Mountain Brook took the top spot with 235 total swings, which were 16 strokes better than second-place Northridge. The tournament was played at Highland Park Golf Course in Birmingham.
“When they realized that we had made it, the looks on their face were just, I don’t know how I can even describe it, it was so great,” Rasberry said.
Now Clay-Chalkville shifts its focus to what has to be done in Muscle Shoals. Mountain Brook, Northridge, Vestavia Hills, Muscle Shoals, Huntsville and Athens will battle the Cougars for two spots in the state tournament.
According to Rasberry, her girls have no experience playing at Cypress Lakes Country Club. They will get an opportunity to play a practice round on Sunday before tournament play begins on Monday.
“I looked it up on Google Maps and it’s just all water,” said Rasberry. “So we’re going to see if we can come up with some sort of game plan to make sure we don’t hit too many in the lakes and go from there.”
Muscle Shoals, Huntsville and Athens took their Section 4 swings at Cypress Lakes just last week.
“We’ve never played any tournament there and I’ve never played there either, so we’re kind of going in there blind,” Rasberry said.