Davie golfer best at Maple Chase

Published 9:40 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

Not only is Reagan’s golf team miles ahead of Central Piedmont Conference rivals – the Raiders entered with week with a 94-stroke lead over second-place West Forsyth – it appears to have one of the greatest teams in state history.

But the best player at Maple Chase Golf and Country Club in Winston-Salem on Sept. 25 was Davie sophomore Kyleigh Harnsberger, who turned in the type of round that few in the 17-year history of Davie girls golf could even imagine.

She shot – you might want to be sure you’re seated – a 3-under 34, the finest nine-hole round since the Davie program began in 2002. The only other War Eagle to break par is Gabby Chaloupkova, who shot 2-under 34 at Reynolds Park in 2010. Harnsberger broke Chaloupkova’s record by getting an eagle on her final hole, No. 9.

“That is the first time I’ve scored under par,” said Harnsberger, who plays competitively year-round. “I was kind of nervous about it because I was playing with a girl that’s really good (in Reagan’s Sasha Hayes). I really have to give this to my mom (Christy) because she gave me a pep talk before I went.”

Harnsberger came in with a tremendous 4-over 40 average, but her sixth outing of the season was the stuff of legends.

She started her day by birdieing No. 1, a 298-yard par-4. She made a 23-foot putt there.

On the par-3 No. 5 (115 yards), she tapped in for birdie. “It almost went in,” she said of her tee ball. “It was about two feet away from the hole.”

On the par-4 No. 7 (305 yards), she recorded her third birdie, and her eighth in six matches.

The best was yet to come. On the par-5 No. 9 (331 yards), she reached the green in two and promptly sank a putt of 25-30 feet, resulting in the first eagle of her Davie career and capping an incredible day.

“My putting was the best today,” she said.

Oh, and one thing more: Harnsberger became Davie’s first medalist in a CPC meet since Chaloupkova’s 34 in 2010. She finished five shots ahead of Reagan’s Hayes and Mary Slade White.

“I was with her for four of her nine holes and watched two of her birdies, one of which was the par-3 No. 5 which was playing 120 and she hit it inside two feet for birdie,” coach Bob Donley said. “She only had one bad hole and that was No. 4, where she had a double bogey. She was not fazed by that at all because she hit it to inside two feet on the next hole (and made birdie). It was great to watch her have such a great round.”

The War Eagles entered in fourth. Although they remained in fourth, their chances of displacing West or Reynolds were enhanced considerably after Davie’s strongest CPC showing in eight years. (Davie’s last second-place finish came at Sapona in 2010, when Chaloupkova shot 38, Caitlyn Brake 45 and Carmen Grubb 48.)

Reagan was first at Maple Chase at 10-over 121. Davie, getting a 51 from freshman Annika McDaniel and a 53 from sophomore Caroline Bliss, had 138, followed by West (139), East Forsyth (157), Glenn (159) and Reynolds (170). Reynolds took a serious fall because its top player was playing in a tournament at Pebble Beach.


More Davie history was made during a CPC meet at Salem Glen on Sept. 26. The par-3 12th was a magical moment for McDaniel, who used a sand wedge from 95 yards and recorded the first ever hole in one in Davie annals.

“I heard the West Forsyth coach screaming,” McDaniel said. “I never expected that. It was kind of hard to see (the cup). There is a hill right at the flag. I couldn’t believe it. It was just amazing.”

Playing since she was 5, this was her first ace. In terms of official scoring, the utterly blissful moment was robbed by Mother Nature. Rain ended the match after three holes, and everything started over Oct. 2. But there will forever be an asterisk by McDaniel and Sept. 26, 2018.

“I was doing so good,” she said. “I was 1-under (after a bogey, par and ace).”