The Adairsville High girls golf team shot a state qualifying score at its area championships all the way back on April 29 at the Calhoun Elks Lodge & Golf Club.
However, because the Lady Tigers placed fourth in the area and only the top three received automatic bids, it wasn’t until a few weeks later, on Monday, when the three team members received the news they made state with an at-large bid.
The three players — juniors Lindsey Angland, Maycee Gwin and Cortni Jacobs — found out around noon Monday when the GHSA posted the qualifiers on its website, and went to coach Jon Cudd’s classroom to share the good news.
"They were super excited,” Cudd said. "They were following it. We knew the GHSA would post it [Monday]. ... I told them I thought we’d get an at-large bid, but we don’t know for sure. But they were super excited about it. They worked really hard this year.”
The team shot a 289 at the area tournament, with Jacobs leading the way with her 89, Angland shooting a 96 and Gwin coming in at 104. It was a 55-shot improvement over the score the same three players shot as a team in the area tournament last year.
"Cortni played tournaments all summer and the other girls had lessons and stuff over the summer,” Cudd said. “[Making state] was obviously our goal. We wanted to finish in the top four of the area. But our goal was to make state and we felt we had a team capable of doing it because the girls had practiced all summer. They had been playing and we knew they were going to be better.”
Adairsville won its previous 14 matches this year, except for one, which came against Calhoun with a margin of defeat of one stroke. In the area tournament, Adairsville came up short of qualifying with an automatic bid to state by two strokes to Calhoun. In fact, the margin between the rival Yellow Jackets and Tigers was so slim at the area tournament, the Calhoun coaches had to call its players back to the Elks Lodge course for a potential playoff after they finished their round earlier and left the course. Of course, Adairsville didn’t end up drawing even with Calhoun, but it was that close.
As a result of the two narrow losses to Calhoun this year, Adairsville is hoping to overcome the Yellow Jackets at the state tournament, which is a two-day event on May 20 and 21 in Elberton.
Cudd said his team’s scores from the area tournament put it in 10th out of the 14 teams that qualified for the state tournament, but he believes his team can shoot better, and potentially clip Calhoun.
"Now that we’re in, I can promise you, it’s on their minds. They definitely want to beat Calhoun at state,” Cudd said. “[Calhoun is] good and they’re kind of the measuring stick in a lot of sports for us. I feel like our girls are capable and, I think, if we play up to our capabilities, we have a chance."