"I wanted to shoot a lower number into the 60s and show everyone that I've improved," said North Clayton senior Mariah Stackhouse. She won her third state golf title Monday in Augusta.
Justin Connelly, Union Grove, 70
Joe Philaphet, Riverdale, 84
John Stackhouse, North Clayton, 87
Mitch Sutton, Strong Rock, 74
Luella 210 (Samantha Moss 97, Breanna Pitts 113, Nicole Court 128, Deandra Collier 132).
Ola 168 (Haley Austin 76, Taylor Mitchem 92, Jurie Joyner 110, Hallie Lyons 116).
Lovejoy 210 (Imani Scott 99, Brittany Simmons 111).
Bre Laney, ELCA, 88
After not participating in the Class AAAA golf tournament last season, two-time winner Mariah Stackhouse wanted to make a statement in her return.
The North Clayton senior seized the moment, shooting a 5-under 67 for a four-shot victory over Glynn Academy’s Katy Harris at Bartram Trails Golf Club in Augusta and wrapping up her high school career with a third state title.
Stackhouse also won Class AAAA as a freshman (2009) and sophomore (2010).
“I knew I wanted to go out and win, and I also knew it was my senior year,” Stackhouse said, “so I wanted to shoot a lower number into the 60s and show everyone that I’ve improved.”
Things didn’t get off to a good start for Stackhouse. She began her round on the back nine and promptly bogeyed the first hole.
But Stackhouse was unfazed. She arrived in Augusta on Saturday, played a practice round Sunday and came away confident that her game and Bartram Trails were a perfect fit.
“I knew that course fit well for me,” Stackhouse said. “I knew I was capable of shooting a low number. I didn’t let [the bogey] bother me.”
Indeed, Stackhouse bounced back with two straight birdies and added one more to go into the turn at 2-under.
Then worry set it. Stackhouse began her back nine on the first hole with another bogey, and she started to wonder.
“At that point, I wasn’t really upset, but I was thinking I needed make a move,” Stackhouse said. “I thought there might be some pretty low numbers. I told myself I might need at least a 68. I knew I needed to make something happen.”
That came on hole No. 4. Stackhouse eagled the par-5 to go to 3-under and make a move up the leaderboard. She sealed the win with birdies on Nos. 8 and 9.
It made for her largest margin of victory in the state tournament. Stackhouse shot a 71 as a freshman for a one-shot victory over Harris, and her 72 the next year gave her a two-stroke win.
“It feels good,” Stackhouse said. “Especially after having not been able to win last year. I wanted to come back and see if I could reclaim the title.”
Next on Stackhouse’s schedule — the Women’s Open Qualifier at Dunwoody Country Club on May 21.
Stackhouse qualified last year at Druid Hills Golf Club with a 146 two-day score, and drew national attention as the only African American women’s golfer in the Open field.