THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
By Roger Greene
In command with a 19-shot advantage after the opening round of the Class AAA golf championship, Waccamaw maintained its aggressive approach on Tuesday. Nowhere was the effectiveness of that mentality more clearly reflected than on the True Blue scorecard.
The Warriors carded a two-day team total of 578, an impressive 37 shots ahead of runner-up Bishop England. It was the second consecutive state title for the Warriors, who captured the Class AA crown in 2016.
“Having a 19-shot lead going into [Tuesday] definitely took a lot of weight off our shoulders,” Drew Mullen said. “But we’re all competitors and always have the mindset we can do better.”
“Anytime you can win a state championship, it’s a great feeling,” said Patrick Golden, whose round of 68 paced Waccamaw on Tuesday. “But winning this year, with this team, is extra special. We had high expectations coming into this year and we met them. The guys on this team are like brothers to me and I wouldn’t want to trade them for anyone else.”
Golden, a College of Charleston signee, opened with a 72 on Monday and his total of 140 was 5 shots behind medalist Jacob Bridgeman of Chapman.
“With it being my last high school tournament, I wanted to end it with a solid round,” Golden said. “I felt like I did that. The most important thing for me was to just have fun and soak it in. I think doing that helped me play well.”
“Patrick was firing on all cylinders,” WHS coach Nate Marozzi said. “I don’t think he was happy with how he played on Monday. He wanted to close out in style.”
Drew Mullen’s 71 was the low-round for Waccamaw on Monday and his final tally of 144 left him in a tie for fourth individually.
“Being a part of this team has meant a lot to me,” Mullen said. “We’re all like brothers. They have been with me since the day I moved here at the beginning of last year. I can’t thank them enough for all the good times and lifelong memories we’ve made.”
Trey Salley, who will play for Coker College, was one shot off Mullen’s total and Jackson Cole shot 74-75 to finish with a 149.
“The season started kind of slow for us,” Marozzi said. “But once we got into the thick of the schedule, you could see the focus sharpen. Winning another state title was important goal for them. They were inspired to achieve that.”
The True Blue layout is a familiar one to Waccamaw and they used that knowledge to their advantage — in particular, on the course’s five par 5s which average more than 500 yards per hole.
“The key to playing True Blue well is scoring on the par 5s,” Golden said. “We’ve played there a lot. That helped us [know] where to put the ball in the fairway and where the right spot to miss it was.”
“It helped that we played at True Blue,” Mullen said. “I knew before the tournament there were a lot birdies that could be made. I felt like I could be aggressive on every hole.”