The North Lincoln Knights golf team is on their way to the NCHSAA Class 1A State Championship after placing second in the Regionals on Monday.
The Regionals were held in Maiden at Glen Oaks Country Club. Jordan Matthews bested the Knights by 10 strokes shooting a 319.
West Davidson rounded out the top three with a 339.
The individual scores from North Lincoln were: Kenny Bethea 75, Carson King 83, Zack Kiser 85, Will Campbell 86, Reid Ketner 91 and Matthew Wentworth 97.
The Knights will pack their bags for The Club at Long Leaf in Pinehurst, North Carolina which is the site for the State Championship scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday.
North Lincolnâ€™s golf coach Mark Lackey believes the State Championship berth is a testament to his kids.
â€œItâ€™s a great accomplishment for a first year school. Iâ€™m incredibly happy for the kids, they worked hard all year long,â€ he said.
Lackey feels his opponents played a significant role in helping his team improve.
â€œItâ€™s the icing on the cake, weâ€™ve had a great year all year long and weâ€™ve played good competition. Thatâ€™s helped us get ready for the regionals,â€ he said.
The Knights practiced Tuesday at Lincolnton and today (Wednesday) weâ€™ll be at Verdict Ridge Country Club. According to their coach todayâ€™s practice session will focus on their â€˜short game and putting.â€™
â€œFriday, weâ€™ll be back at Lincolnton putting the finishing touches on what we want to do as far as preparation. Weâ€™ll hit a lot of balls on Friday, weâ€™ll hit a couple of hundred balls and try to get our iron game down,â€ Lackey said.
The coach believes their most difficult opponent will be on they just faced off against in the Regionals.
â€œNot knowing whoâ€™s going to be there, I know Jordan Matthews is good. Theyâ€™re probably the odds-on favorite going in. There are some good 1A teams from the Eastern Region, so itâ€™s going to be a real challenge,â€ Lackey said.
Lackey believes the Pinehurst course is so difficult that little areas will be magnified, such as favorable angles on particular shots.
â€œThe courses at Pinehurst offers you a good challenge too, so your better teams will definitely come to the top. When youâ€™re playing golf, the course has so much to do with the outcome of your gameâ€”pin position and ball placement also has so much to do with the game of golf and the success you have in it,â€ Lackey said.by John Mark Brooks