Fighting for Par, the Gold Team Battles Through Playoffs


The golf team continues to perform, dominating inside the county, and scoring in county and district championships. In their six in-county matches the boys team outscored opponents by an average of 20 points, extending their win streak to 89, and marking their ninth year undefeated. The girls were close behind, setting a new county scoring record and extending their win streak to three years.
Golf in Howard County is scored using the Stableford system, in which teams earn points for their strokes on each hole, and the team with the highest score wins. The county is also split into two divisions, teams play within their divisions, and the team with the best record goes on to the title match.
This year two teams emerged at the top of their respective divisions, Marriotts Ridge and River Hill. Both teams waltzed their way through division play, ending up undefeated, setting new county records, and bringing in a new wave of young golfers. This fantastic play set the scene for a heated county title match.
Tension was high on the first tee. Groups of teammates and spectators looked on as the players started off their rounds.
For sophomore George Williamson the mindset was simple, “I wasn’t really feeling any pressure on the first tee, I just wanted to go and play my best for the team… I knew nine holes is a lot of time so I just need to stay focused throughout the whole round whether I start well or poorly.”
This was Willamson’s first time playing in a title match and he performed under pressure, leading the team with 24 points, “After finishing on a high with a birdie I was feeling good, but I wasn’t thinking about being the highest point tally, I just wanted to know if the team won.”
The scores were added up and the Mustangs brought home the country title, the boys winning 87 to 77 and the girls 76 to 73.
Up next was the individual county championship, a culmination of the season featuring the best golfers in the county. Athletes have to qualify for the championship throughout the season. Boys have to average 22 points over two matches and girls 18. This year, Marriotts Ridge sent ten players to the tournament, making up almost a third of the qualifying golfers.
The county championship is played differently than regular season matches. Instead of just playing nine holes, the championship is all eighteen, and players are scored using stroke play, so every swing counts, and the stakes are high.
“When you’re playing in an individual event I feel like one – there’s less pressure, you’re not necessarily playing for the team you’re playing for yourself. You’re more able to focus on your own game rather than thinking about how my team’s gonna do or how the results are gonna be. You can focus on your shots,” said senior golf captain Sangmin Lee.
After a long day of golf, Marriotts ridge saw four top-ten placements on the boys side and three top-five placements on the girls side. The team took home five medals, freshman Aidan Kim was the top scorer for the boys shooting a 77 and earning fourth, and senior Alana Alexander-Giles was the top scorer for the girls shooting a 72 and claiming second.
Alexander-Giles is a captain on the team and was coming in hot, winning the district championship the day prior. Marriotts Ridge is a part of district five, along with parts of surrounding counties.
In the district championship players score to qualify for the state final, “It was stroke play and I’m a lot more comfortable with stroke play because that’s what we play in tournaments. Also, the fact that the course was a little longer played to my advantage because I have a lot of distance,” said Alexander-Giles.
She won the tournament shooting a 74, and qualifying for the state championship with seven other Marriotts Ridge players,” I won so it was a pretty good experience, I got a fancy little plac,” said Alexander-Giles.
After a fantastic season packed full of wins and individual accomplishments, the team heads into the state championship ready to retake the title.