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Liggin, Lee girls finish 4th at Class AAAA State Tournament

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

JEKYLL ISLAND -- Christian Liggin didn't finish out her high-school career with the big bang that she had hoped for, but the Lee County senior golfer will be leaving school with no regrets when it comes to her overall performance on the golf course.

"I didn't play as good as I wanted to today," Liggin said following the GHSA Class AAAA State Tournament at Jekyll Island's Indian Mound golf course Monday. "But, it was fun, and I'm just glad we made it here. I wish we could have done better, but it was all right."

With both Liggin and fellow senior Bree Pickelsimer both shooting an 86 on the par-72 course, the Lady Trojans finished with a 172 team score that earned them a tie for fourth in the final standings in the 16-team field.

It was the third straight appearance in the state tournament for Lee County, which finished second in Region 1-AAAA to qualify for the state event this year.

Glynn Academy, which finished second in Region 2-AAAA, won the state championship with a 154 total that included an even-par 72 by freshman Katy Harris, who finished as the low medalist runner-up.

Mariah Stackhouse of North Clayton won medalist honors with a 1-under 71.

Thomas County Central, which won the Region 1-AAAA title this spring over Lee, settled for second in the team tournament with a 168 score. Whitewater, the Region 5-AAAA winner, took third with a 171. Effingham County, which finished ahead of Glynn in the Region 2-AAAA tournament, tied Lee County for fourth with a 172. Lakeside-Evans was a shot back at 173.

"We were hoping to get in the top five, and we ended up doing pretty good," Lady Trojans coach Cristi Griffin said. "We shot about what I thought we would. We've been shooting 169 to 172 pretty consistently, and we pretty much did what we've been doing (Monday)."

Pickelsimer actually did better than she had all season, posting a career-best 86 in the season's biggest tournament.

"That's the best score she's ever shot. I don't think she's ever broken 90," Griffin said. "She did really well. I was really proud of her."

Liggin, meanwhile, finished up 11 strokes higher than she did at the region tournament when she turned in a season-best 75 at Bainbridge Country Club to claim her second straight individual region crown.

Still, the 86 shot by both Lee County girls earned them a tie for ninth in the individual standings Monday. Liggin also finished ninth in the state tournament last season in Dalton.

Opening her round on the back side of the Indian Mound layout, Liggin got off to a bit of a shaky start with bogeys on the first two holes. She also made a double-bogey on her fourth hole and closed her opening nine with another double and a triple bogey to make the turn with a 9-over 45.

Liggin steadied herself on her back nine, however. She made three straight pars to start out before making a bogey at the fourth. She followed that with two pars before going double, par, double to finish with a 41.

"I just didn't have anything to kick-start my game," Liggin said. "I was just kind of flat all day. Nothing got me going.

"I didn't make any birdies, didn't make any putts. No matter how close I was, I just couldn't make one."

Following a busy summer of tournament golf, Liggin will return to the Golden Isles to play for the next four years at the College of Coastal Georgia, which is in the process of becoming a full-fledged four-year school and will field boys and girls golf teams for the first time this fall.

She is already looking forward to what lies ahead for her at the college level.

"I'm really excited. It's going to be fun," Liggin said of being part of a new program. "I'm hoping we can do good this first year, pull in some more good people, and be even better after that."