HPCA’s Limbacher ties for sixth in golf championship | Sports

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GREENSBORO — Ashley Limbacher made a strong impact in her first year with a brand-new program.Limbacher, in her first season at High Point Christian, shot a 3-over 75 to tie for sixth during Monday’s NCISAA Division II girls golf state championship at Bryan Park’s Players Course.Westchester’s Madi Dial and Wesleyan Christian’s Molly Jardina also posted top 20 finishes.

“I felt like I played the best I have all season,” Limbacher said. “I hit it really, really well. Putting was a little iffy. But I hit it really well, which helped me get around the course.“I just think I grinded a lot today and that just helped me keep with it.”Limbacher, a junior who posted top-50 finishes in her two public-school state championships at Ledford, made the turn in 1-over 37 with a pair of birdies and three bogeys — plus a par from the woods on No. 9 to keep her momentum up.On the back side, a pair of birdies on the 14th and 15th holes canceled out a double on the par-3 11th. But, on the 18th, a bad lie left a difficult approach to the uphill green and she settled for a double and a 2-over 38 to close the round.“I did bogey the first hole,” she said, “but typically my better rounds are when I don’t do well on the first hole. So, I knew from that start, like, ‘I’m going to get it today and it’s going to keep going.’ ”By finishing inside the top eight, Limbacher — who took up the game just three years ago — earned all-state. She was also the PTAC player of the year this season.
Limbacher’s appearance in the state championship concluded the Cougars’ inaugural girls golf season.“It’s amazing — I never would’ve thought it,” HPCA coach David Spencer said with a laugh. “The best part is that Ashley is a really good player, and that’s why I’m here. But she’s an even better person. … Ashley’s a great leader, because No. 1 she’s a good player and people are going to appreciate that. But she also never condescends, never lords over the players. She’s always encouraging. Her go-to is: ‘Two years ago, I was right where you are. You can do it too if you work hard and put your mind to it.’ ”Westchester’s Dial, a freshman making her third championship appearance, had another strong finish. She shot an 81 and finished tied for 11th, carding a 40 on the front and a 41 on the back — steadily tallying pars and bogeys.“I left a lot of putts out there, but I was hitting it solid,” said Dial, who highlighted a 3-wood approach shot on the final hole that led to making a 10-foot putt for par and a good tee shot on No. 17. “It’s really nice — especially since I did better than last year and even better than the year before. So, I’ve been getting better every year.”In the larger Division I, Wesleyan’s Jardina, also a freshman making her third appearance, tied for 19th with an 86. She posted a 43 on each side, struggling on a couple holes on the challenging course but otherwise playing solidly.“I played pretty well,” said Jardina, who mentioned a long putt for par on No. 7 as a highlight of her round. “I could’ve done better. I had a few bogeys that I probably could’ve had pars on those holes, but overall I played pretty well. It feels good — 30 strokes down from the first year I played.”North Raleigh Christian won the Division I team title with a 217, followed by Durham Academy with a 223. The O’Neal School won the Division II title with a 219, ahead of Wayne Country Day with 227.NRCA’s Kiera Bartholomew shot a 65 to win the DI individual title, while Wayne Country Country Day’s Karsyn Roberts posted a 68 to capture the DII championship.

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