Blissful Moment: Golfer shoots career-best 38
By Brian Pitts
As a junior, Caroline Bliss of Davie’s girls golf team shot 7-over 43 at Pine Knolls and another 7-over 43 at Reynolds Park. This season as a senior, she shot 43 at Oak Valley on March 15 and yet another 43 at Salem Glen on March 22.
Then came the breakthrough at Oak Valley on April 14. In the 18th nine-hole round of her three-year Davie career, Bliss drained two birdie putts, got over the 43 hump and carded a 2-over 38. Breaking 43 was a moment she’d been dreaming about since adopting the sport as a sophomore.
“Breaking 40 has been a goal of mine since my junior year, and it felt great to finally achieve it,” she said.
Bliss has displayed impressive progress since her days as a raw sophomore, her career starting with a 56 at Bermuda Run West on Aug. 23, 2018. Fast forward two and a half years and she produced the finest Davie score since classmate Kyleigh Harnsberger’s even 36 at Reynolds Park on Sept. 30, 2019.
“I felt like all my hard work has paid off and that every component of my game came together in that round,” she said.
Bliss was 3-over through five holes. She birdied No. 6, a par-3. After parring No. 7, she bogeyed No. 8. (I had a putt lip out,” she said.) She responded brilliantly, birdieing the par-4 nine.
“They were both pretty long putts that just fell right into the hole,” she said of the birdie putts on six and nine.
Junior Annika McDaniel (44) and sophomore Emerson Vanzant (46) helped Davie overcome the absence of Harnsberger and beat West Forsyth by three strokes. McDaniel delivered her seventh straight round at 10-over or better, and Vanzant shot a career best after a pair of 48s as Davie shot 20-over 128.
One day earlier at Oak Valley, Davie fell by one stroke to West Forsyth (17-over 125). Reynolds was third at 171. It was Davie’s first match in 22 days.
Harnsberger (4-over 40) turned in her best score of the season to take second overall, two shots behind West’s Mary-Paige King. McDaniel (42) birdied a par-5 and tied for third with her best score of the year. Bliss was fifth at 44 and Vanzant was ninth at 48.
At Pudding Ridge on March 30, sophomore Colby Moore of the Davie boys took second with an even 35, junior Ben McGuire tied for third at 37 and freshman Cooper Drum tied for fourth at 38. Reynolds, though, defeated Davie 147-151.
After a 13-day layoff, Davie returned to action at Oak Valley on April 13. Moore (2-over 38), Sean Coates (41), McGuire (42) and Drum (42) gave Davie a score of 163, although it wasn’t enough to prevent a third-place finish behind Reynolds (147) and West Forsyth (152).
Two days later at Tanglewood, Moore (1-over 37) broke 40 for the fifth time in six matches as Davie edged the Forsyth Home Educators 163-164. Davie’s other scores came from McGuire (39), Coates (43) and Drum (44).