Golfer VanZant peaking as a senior
Published 2:17 pm Thursday, September 1, 2022
By Brian Pitts
As a freshman golfer, Emerson Vanzant turned in scores of 54, 53 and 58. As a Davie sophomore, she averaged 47.3 strokes in three matches. As a junior, her average nine-round round was 43.8.
Talk about peaking as a senior. Vanzant’s average score through four matches is 38.5.
Davie played three matches in four days, and Vanzant had a monster week. At Pine Knolls on Aug. 22, she fired a 1-over 37 to take seventh place out of 29 players. It was another new career best after she opened the season with a career-best 4-over 40 at Salem Glen. The 37 marked Davie’s finest individual score since Kyleigh Harnsberger’s even 36 at Reynolds Park in September of 2019.
“Her hard work, love of playing and practicing is paying big dividends,” coach Bob Donley said.
Vanzant opened with two bogeys. She parred No. 3 and birdied No. 4. She closed with five straight pars.
The birdie came on a par-4.
“It was about a 250-yard par-4 over water, so I decided to just go for it with my driver,” she said. “I had a good drive with a 75-yard chip into the green. I chipped it pretty close and made about a 10-foot putt.”
Davie showed significant improvement as a team. After finishing third in a three-team meet at Salem Glen, it took third in the first Central Piedmont Conference meet of the year. West Forsyth was first at 5-under 103, followed by Reagan (104), Davie (148), Reynolds (161), Mt. Tabor (163), Parkland (198), Glenn (201) and East Forsyth (203).
Sophomore Kate Sakai was second for Davie with a 50.
“Our 148 was 19 strokes better than our first match,” Donley said. “It was great improvement.”
In a nonconference match at Oak Valley on Aug. 24, Vanzant birdied the par-3 No. 6 and the No. 9 par-4, finished at 2-over 38 and became the first War Eagle to record 4-over or better in three consecutive rounds since Harnsberger’s string of 39, 39, 39, 40 in 2018.
West Forsyth (7-over 115) beat Davie by 42 shots.
In another match at Oak Valley the next day, Vanzant continued to scorch. She was first out of 14 with a 3-over 39.
Sakai tied for fourth at 53. Davie (50-over 158) lost to Oak Grove by 23 strokes.