The high school golf season is over for the Greenwood Lady Bulldogs, who finished as runners-up in both the conference and state tournaments over the past 10 days. Head Coach Ronnie Sockey and his top four players, including senior Olivia Walker, juniors Hallie Jones and Grace Woody, and freshman Riley Holland, traveled to Mountain Home this past Monday for the state tournament at Big Creek Country club.
The Lady Bulldogs (281) finished 23 shots behind first-place El Dorado (258) and seven shots ahead of third-place Jonesboro (288). Hallie Jones, who made the All-State team, led the GHS ladies with a team-low 87 strokes, followed by Grace Woody (93) and Olivia Walker (101). Rylie Holland carded a 109 in a reserve role. In high school, only the top three girls’ scores are counted. Also from the 5A West conference, Mountain Home finished fourth and Siloam Springs sixth.
Bulldogs Head Coach Tyler Woods accompanied the girls’ team along with Coach Sockey. The boys’ state tournament will be next Monday, October 5th, also at Mountain Home. The GHS boys won their conference tournament and are hoping for a good showing at state like the Lady Bulldogs. In statewide competition, Jonesboro High School has dominated the field over the past decade, but Coach Woods and his team would love to upset the Hurricane this year.
Before the conference tournament at Fort Smith’s Ben Geren Park, both GHS teams finished their Ryder Cup series against Fort Smith Southside, also at Ben Geren, and finished their regular season with a conference match at Siloam Springs.
On September 17th, Greenwood won the first annual Ryder Cup series against Southside, a multi-day event that spanned two weeks. The competition is named after the international event that pits professional golfers from the United States against the best players in Europe.
Greenwood led after the first day of play on September 3rd, and finished off the Southsiders last week, winning seven of 10 matches. Overall, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs won Sebastian County bragging rights, taking their first Ryder Cup by a match score of 13-7.
Junior Hallie Jones (76) and senior Brady Fein (76) both earned medalist honors and were named All-Conference for Greenwood. The GHS ladies finished second (269) behind first place Mountain Home (261), while the GHS men defeated the field in winning the tournament with a team total of 322 strokes over second place Siloam Springs (340) and third place Mountain Home (344). The tournament was hosted by league member Vilonia.
Besides Hallie Jones, two other Lady Bulldogs contributed to the team total. Junior Grace Woody shot a 93 and senior Olivia Walker carded an even 100. Freshman Rylie Holland also competed, but her score (109) was not included.
For the Bulldogs, Fein’s 76 was supported by fellow senior Hayden Weaver (78), junior Chris Daggs (83), senior Ethan Clark (85), and senior Avery Cole (88). Cole’s score did not figure in the team total.
Lady Bulldogs’ head coach Ronnie Sockey offered the following comments after the league tournament. “[We] finished runner-up just eight shots behind Mountain Home. Hallie [Jones] shot a career low, breaking 80 for her first time in competition. Hallie felt she did not hit one bad shot today.
“Our team [wanted] that win today,” continued Sockey, “but qualifying for state, we know we still have one more big tournament left [in us]. We have a great shot at winning next week at state. We will need three good scores, and our kids are very capable of putting together one good round, from all four of our girls. We are so proud of both teams and all the hard work and dedication of these players.”
Bulldogs head coach Tyler Woods also had words of praise for his players. “Our boys played the best they've played all year as a team and individually, [especially] Brady [Fein] and Hayden [Weaver]. You've got to play your best when your best is needed, and they answered the call. Brady shot a four over [par] 76 to garner the best boys score at the tournament. Hayden shot just two strokes behind and a season-best 78. Those two are best friends.
“The top five scores earned All-Conference, so they both earned All-Conference while Brady earned medalist. Chris Daggs played right around his average at 83, [while] Ethan Clark shot an 85 and Avery Cole shot 88,” said Woods.
“In order to win state, they will have to do just as [well], but maybe a few strokes better. Our team score was a 322 and that was on a rainy day. I think the winner of state will probably be under 320, so we'll have to put together another solid round as a team. Our guys have seen Mountain Home enough to know what to expect. We play every year in their invitational tourney to start the year,” he concluded.