GHS golfers end season, girls place 7th in state

GHS golfers end season, girls place 7th in state

It’s been a rebuilding year for both GHS golf teams, but the Lady Bulldogs still managed to qualify for the state tournament and finished seventh overall in Class 5A last week at Russellville Country Club. After former head coach Ronnie Sockey resigned last spring and returned to a new teaching and coaching position in Poteau, Oklahoma, Lundon (Williams) Lensing was hired during the summer to take over the girls’ program once led by her father, the recently retired Ronnie Williams.

Unfortunately, the new head coach couldn’t lead her players to the finish line. Coach Williams gave birth to a baby girl (Hallie) just days before the 5A West Conference tournament. Boys’ head coach Tyler Woods filled in for the new GHS mom. Thankfully, modern technology allowed the Lady Bulldogs to share a portion of their success with their new head coach despite the distance between them.

“We are super excited and super proud of these Lady Bulldog golfers,” stated a post on the Greenwood Dog Pound Facebook page after the league tournament last week. “They came in 3rd place today at the conference tournament and they are headed to state! They facetimed Coach Lensing who is home with Baby Hallie and celebrated with her.”

After the state tournament at Russellville this past Monday and Tuesday, the GHS girls finished seventh among twelve teams. Coach Woods said of the Lady Bulldogs, “It’s been great seeing how far [they] have come this year. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for GHS Lady Bulldogs golf.” The GHS girls will lose three players to graduation, including the team’s #1 linkster, Maggie Leonard.

Coach Woods’ own Bulldogs narrowly missed out on state tournament play, finishing in fifth place just seven strokes short of qualifying in the conference tournament. The top three team finishers earned the right to compete at the next level. However, senior Harrison Adams is headed to state next week as an individual qualifier after shooting a team best 78 at Big Creek, the third best score among all players.

Girls’ scores

The Lady Bulldogs were slated to play Elkins at Greenwood’s Vache Grasse Country club on August 29th, but Elkins brought only one female golfer, so there was no team competition for the girls that day. The Greenwood ladies simply used the opportunity as a practice round to further polish their skills.

Their next competition was on the 31st at Blossom Way Golf and Country Club in Rogers against the Lady War Eagles. Senior Maggie Leonard (52), junior Aliana Garcia (53), and freshman Cambree Shrum (53) led the way for Greenwood, followed by junior Laci Cox (60) and senior Maleigha Carney (62). The top three scores were used to determine the team total.

On the first day of September the Lady Bulldogs were supposed to play Fort Smith Southside in the second of three Ryder Cup matches, and both teams, girls and boys, gathered at Vache Grasse Country Club with Southside leading the competition by a score of 4-1 after the first round played on August 17th. But shortly after the match began storms and lightning moved through the area forcing cancellation of the match and the junior high football game between Greenwood and Farmington.

Then on September 6th the GHS girls traveled to Bella Vista Country Club to take on the Bentonville girls in a nine-hole match. Leonard carded a 47 to set the pace for her teammates, while Cambree fired a 52 and Garcia a 53. Sophomore Lauren Oler shot a 56, and Carney scored a 65.

At Alma’s Eagle Crest Country Club on September 8th the GHS girls took on three opponents – Alma, Van Buren, and Russellville – over 18 holes. Maggie Leonard fired a 92 followed by Aliana Garcia’s 95, Cambree Shrum’s 111, and Lauren Oler’s 120.

Returning to Bella Vista Country Club for a First Tee event on August 12-13, the Lady Bulldogs played 36 holes over two days. Leonard carded a 96 on the first 18 holes and a 42 over the next nine. Garcia shot a 101 the first day and a 53 the second day. Oler and Cambree shot identical scores of 110 and 52 over the two days. Scores for the last nine holes on day two were not available.

The third and final leg of the Ryder Cup was played at Ben Geren Park on September 15th, and the Lady Bulldogs won three of their four matches and tied another. Unfortunately, the Southside boys are really good and swept all their matches from Greenwood to win the trophy in the second year of the Ryder Cup competition.

At the conference tournament last week in Mountain Home, the GHS girls finished in third place, good enough to move on to state competition at Russellville. Maggie Leonard carded a two-day total of 99 over 18 holes, followed by Aliana Garcia (105), Lauren Oler (106), and Cambree Shrum (115).

The 5A girls state tournament was held at Russellville Country club this past Monday and Tuesday, with Monday serving as a practice round. But on Tuesday Greenwood’s Maggie Leonard carded a team best 95, followed by Aliana Garcia (105), Cambree Shrum (105), and Lauren Oler (109) for a team total of 305. Hot Springs Lakeside won the state title at 233 strokes and the Lady Cyclones finished second on their home course at 236.

Boy’s scores

On August 29th the Bulldogs hosted Elkins at Vache Grasse Country Club for nine holes of competition. Senior Harrison Adams led the way with a team low score of 39, followed by freshman Dean Hogeland (41), senior Austin Sharum (44), sophomore Everson Adams (46), senior Eli Sharum (48), junior Ben Bryan (47), and junior Railn Jordan (51). The top four scores were counted in the team total.

Two days later at Blossom Way in Rogers the Bulldogs took on the Rogers-Heritage War Eagles. Once again it was Harrison Adams leading the charge for his teammates with another 39, while younger brother Everson and Dean Hogeland fired identical scores of 50. Eli Sharum carded a 54 and brother Austin scored a 60 over the nine holes.

As the calendar turned over into September the Bulldogs were slated to play the second round of their Ryder Cup competition with Fort Smith Southside on the 1st, but as described above, that match was scrubbed due to weather concerns, leaving the Mavericks with a commanding 4-1 lead in the competition with one match remaining.

The Bulldogs’ next action came on September 8th in a four-team 18-hole match at Alma’s Eagle Crest course against the Airedales, the Van Buren Pointers, and the Russellville Cyclones. Harrison (87) and Everson Adams (89) led their teammates, with Austin Sharum close behind with a 91, Eli Sharum (93), and Dean Hogeland (96).

On September 12-13 the Bulldogs took part in a two-day (First Tee) tournament at Bella Vista Country Club. Harrison Adams set the bar for his teammates by carding a team best 82. Everson Adams was second with a score of 93, followed by Eli Sharum, also a 93, and Dean Hogeland at 96.

The third and final round of the Ryder Cup event was scheduled for September 15th at Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold on to the trophy their claimed last year. The Lady Bulldogs won three of their four matches, tying the other, but the Mavericks swept the GHS boys, allowing Southside to take home the cup.

“We ended the Ryder Cup without a win, but both the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs played with a lot of heart,” said Coach Woods in a Facebook post after the competition. “This was the last match of the regular season, and we are proud of both teams. So much growth from everyone. We will be back next year, and we will bring the Ryder Cup back to Greenwood.”

The Bulldogs then competed in the 5A West conference tournament last week at Big Creek Country Club in Mountain Home, one of the longest and toughest courses in the state. They needed to finish in the top three to qualify for team play in the state tournament but came up seven strokes short of their goal.

According to Coach Woods, the greens at Mountain Home were very slow and caused some issues with many of the golfers. But Greenwood’s Harrison Adams did qualify for state as an individual player with a round of 78 and was named All-Conference. Eli Sharum was second for Greenwood with an 87, followed by Everson Adams (88), along with Dean Hogeland and Austin Sharum, both at 95.

“[Harrison] actually had the third best score overall among all the players,” said his coach. “Sadly, the rest of our team didn’t carry their weight and we finished fifth. Van Buren was by far the leader. They ran away with it. Surprisingly, the next one was Harrison, and third place was Russellville.”

The 5A boys state tournament will be held Monday and Tuesday next week at Hurricane Creek golf club in Bryant with a practice round the first day and the actual competition on day two. As for next season, Woods will lose three of his top five players to graduation, Harrison Adams and the Sharum brothers.

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