SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The South Walton girls golf team finished as Class 2A Region 1 runners-up, clinching their program’s first team appearance at the FHSAA State competition.
The Seahawks rolled though the regular season undefeated and took first place in the Class 2A District 1 Championship.
South Walton freshman Lily Martin said they came into the regional tournament on Tuesday with a lot of confidence.
“I mean, I think we knew in the beginning that we were good,” Martin said. “We have a great team. And I think, you know, going into regionals and we were confident.”
The Class 2A Region 1 Tournament presented some steep competition, with talented programs from Pensacola all the way to the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area.
South Walton junior Vivian Harrison said the tournament came down to the final few holes.
“18th hole, we’re all over there waiting for everyone to finish,” Harrison said. “And they do live scoring so we’re checking that, and we knew it was going to be really close because we were playing with some really good girls out there.”
The Seahawks quintet of Mckazlyn Payne, Ava Kight, Lily Martin, Lauren Cress and Vivian Harrison put together another strong performance and finished in second, just one point better than east-coast powerhouse, Ponte Vedre.
“It got a little close for a minute, but after we knew we got it I mean, it was great,” Martin said.
The regional performance earned South Walton its first State berth as a team in the girls program’s history.
South Walton junior Ava Kight said they are preparing for a strong performance so they can represent themselves and the school well.
“We’re working really hard this week,” Kight said. “There’s a lot of talent on this team, but golf is a mental game, and being able to control your emotions under pressure and perform to the best of your ability and do something that you’re proud of, that’s what we’re really looking to do at State.”
The Seahawks are the sole female golf team representing the Panhandle at State, and while they certainly enter as underdogs, they are also are looking to earn another, even bigger trophy.
“I definitely don’t think those teams are going to see us coming, so I’m ready to maybe surprise them a little bit,” Harrison said.
“Winning state is a big goal for our team,” Kight said. “We want to take home a ring.”
South Walton will leave for the State competition on Sunday, November 5, with practice rounds on Monday and the Tournament beginning Tuesday and wrapping up Wednesday, November 8.