2009-05-11 / Sports

Indians on course for state golf title

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Sports Editor larry@gaffneyledger.com

The Gaffney High golf team will be competing at the state tournament today and tomorrow at Furman University. The Gaffney High golf team will be competing at the state tournament today and tomorrow at Furman University. The Gaffney golf team is back in a familiar spot - the state Class 4A tournament.

Gaffney, which finished second a year ago and captured the state title in 2003, is among the favorites this time around along with Easley, Dorman and defending champion Dutch Fork.

"We just have to play our game," Gaffney coach Todd Coggins.

The Indians game for the most part centers around long drives, strings of pars and just enough clutch birdies to stay atop the leaderboard.

"It will all come down to putting and chipping," Coggins said.

The Indians will tee off at 9:20 a.m. today at the Furman University golf course. They'll be paired with Wando and Fort Dorchester. The other favorites will tee off earlier, meaning the Indians will have the advantage of knowing what score they must beat.

"We'll know what they are doing," the Gaffney coach said.

The 54-hole tournament is as much a test of endurance as golf skill. Today, the teams will play 36 holes. The tournament wraps up tomorrow with another 18.

Coggins said the key is getting off to a good start.

"The first day you have to be in the hunt," he said.

That's what happened last year when the Indians finished the first round at 301.

The Indians have practiced on the course four times. But Coggins admits it would take many more rounds for the Indians to get accustomed to Furman's greens, which are bermuda grass, rather than the bent grass greens of Cherokee National.

Other than the tricky greens, Coggins said the 7,000 yard course sets up well for the long-hitting Indians. The constant rain makes the course play even longer, according to Coggins.

Gaffney's Matthew Hopper returns for his final attempt at a state title. He posted the second best score last year.

Coggins said Hopper elevates his play for the bigger tournaments.

Fellow senior Daniel Whisenant, juniors Phillip Rogers and Adam Goins and eighthgrader Trey Taylor round out the Indians' team.

Goins may be the hottest Indian, shattering the school record at the region tournament with a 66-67 - 133 at Cherokee National.

The Indians will begin play on the front nine, the easier part of the golf course.

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