SOUTHERN PINES —West Bladen senior Kayla Thompson stumbled just slightly on the second day of the state’s Class 2-A golf championship at Longleaf Golf & Country Club, but managed to finish tied for 22nd among the 84-player field.
Thompson, who is headed to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for her collegiate career, was the only female in the field for the second straight year.
On the opening day, Thompson got off to a good start and finished with a 4-over 75 to sit in 14th place.
“She played solid the whole round,” said West Bladen coach Phillip Penny, “She started well and kept it going — and finished par-birdie.”
On the second day, Thompson found the going a bit tougher and carded an 82 to finish the championship with a 157 total.
“She just couldn’t get the speed down on the greens on the second day,” Penny said. “She was driving well and her second shots were good, but she struggled with the short game. But she finished par-birdie again.”
Still, Penny said Thompson showed a lot of poise and talent playing against the boys.
“It’s real tough for girls to play against the guys like that,” he said. “She teed off right with them, so second shots showed up big. But for her to be able to do what she did … it was really impressive.”
The other Four County Conference competitor in the Class 2-A champoinship was conference champion Clinton, which finished fifth in the overall team title chase.
With Thompson set to graduate next month, Penny is sure she has a big future ahead.
“I’m very optimistic about that,” he said. “She has a terrific work ethic and is a perfectionist. She won’t stop until she gets things right.
“She’ll get stronger and she’ll keep learning from playing against a higher level of Div. I competition,” he added. “I’d be surprised if we don’t see her playing on Sundays in the LPGA down the road. She has that kind of talent.”