After two days of heated competition at Cobblestone Golf Club for the GHSA AAAAAA Girls Golf State Championship, Northview’s Lady Titans Golf Team finished Runner-up with a tournament total of 471. Johns Creek took home the champions trophy this year with a remarkable total of 434, 2-over par. Finishing in 3rd place was Valdosta with a total of 495.
Northview’s team of Michelle Cao, Erica Scutt, Aya Kakizaki, and Lauren Siegel knew the path to winning back-to-back State titles would require them to best local rival, Johns Creek. The two teams had battled each other three times this season, including the Area 3 Tournament where the two teams tied, but Northview had yet to beat Johns Creek outright this season heading into the State Championship.
Coming into State, Coach Silver thought his players matched up better with a tougher course set-up, so he was hoping for difficult hole locations similar to the course set-up at the Area 3 Tournament. It may not have mattered how the course was set-up with how well Johns Creek played over the two days of the State Championship. The team finished with three players in the top five of the individual competition, two of whom were under par for the championship, including low medalist, Gen Wu (68, 73) who finished 3-under par, and her teammate Kate Song (71, 71) who finished runner-up at 2-under par. Congratulations, Johns Creek – great playing!
Northview Lady Titans Golf Team finished the tournament with three players in the top 20 for the individual competition, and all four players finished in the top half of the field of 67 players. Leading the team was Sophomore Erica Scutt (76, 72) and senior Michelle Cao (79, 77), both of whom finished in the top ten, followed by junior Aya Kakizaki (83, 84) who tied for 19th place, and freshman, Lauren Siegel (88, 91) who finished tied for 32nd.
Sophomore Erica Scutt was able to move up the leaderboard for the individual competition on Day 2 with the second lowest score of the day to finish tied for 3rd place. Erica’s scores of 76 and 72 included an inspired final 9 holes of the championship which she blistered in 4-under par, giving her a two-day total of 148, 4-over par. “I had trouble judging the speeds of the greens early on in my rounds [both days], so I got off to slow starts” said Erica. “But I made four birdies on the back 9 to finish the tournament so I’m pretty happy about that. Shooting a 32 on the last 9 holes of the season is a great way to wrap things up!”
Erica plans on continuing to work on her game this summer and compete in numerous junior competitions. Coach Silver thinks Erica has a bright future. “Erica came into the season with a lot of raw talent but she needed to develop mental discipline. Now, she’s not only physically stronger and more skilled, but is vastly improved mentally. If she’s motivated, I think Erica can turn herself into a top ranked junior player in the state of Georgia.”
Senior Michelle Cao (79, 77) tied for 9th place at State, which also happened to be her final tournament as a high school golfer. Michelle, always with a flare for the dramatic, finished her high school golfing career in style, almost holing out for eagle after hitting the flagstick from off the green on the last hole of the championship with her teammates cheering her on. “There were a lot of things I could have been frustrated about during [the tournament], but I had to keep shouldering on, keep cool, and stick to the process.”
Michelle’s performance at State was more than commendable, especially when you consider that she had more than a golf tournament on her mind. Monday was Day 1 of the State Championship, but it was also Michelle’s graduation day. In order to do both, Michelle had to carefully plan her day, which went something like this: Wake up at 5:30am, travel over an hour to compete in the State Championship, play 18 holes in a pressure cooker, sign scorecard (something in the 70’s, please), hop into the car with dad, hightail it 40 miles across town to Ameris Bank Amphitheatre (no speeding tickets, please), slip on graduation robe, locate place in line among hundreds of other graduates, take a deep breath, begin walking the procession for the graduation ceremony, receive diploma. Great plan, Michelle! Hmmm…. there seems to be something missing. Nowhere in that itinerary did it mention ‘change shoes when putting on robe’. Why not? Michelle explains, “Well, my dress shoes sorta got misplaced and they weren’t in the car when I was getting changed on the way over, so I just made due with what I had.” Yep, when Michelle walked across the stage to shake hands with school administrators and county dignitaries to receive her diploma, little did they know Michelle was still wearing her golf shoes! Talk about your fancy footwork! Well-played, Michelle, very well-played!
Congratulations to the entire Northview Titans Girls Golf Team! While Northview came up short in its bid to win back-to-back state titles, the team’s runner-up finish in this year’s State Championship is certainly a great accomplishment! The Girls played with class the entire season, were supportive of each other and respectful of their opponents. The team epitomized what student-athletics are all about at Northview High School.
During the season, the Girls Golf Team won or finished tied for first place in tournaments three times, and finished runner-up another three times. The team also finished its regular season of 9-Hole matches with only one loss. Teammates Michelle Cao and Erica Scutt both earned recognition for their individual accomplishments multiple times during tournaments this season. And most importantly, the players all shared an experience with each other that they will be able to look back upon with fond memories.
There’s so much to be thankful for when a team experiences a successful season. The team wishes to express their appreciation for all the support they received during the season and the contributions made by their parents and family members, as well as their teachers and school administration – the team couldn’t have done it without all of you. Thank you!