Franklin High School senior, Erin Campbell began playing golf as a freshman. Four years later, this Monday and Tuesday, she competed at the North Carolina State Championship for 2-A golf at Pinehurst for the second time in her high school career. She has qualified three times, but was unable to compete last year.
On Monday she shot a 93 and on Tuesday a 91, finishing 20th out of 77 golfers.
Before the season kicked off back in August, Campbell said that she just wanted to have a season like the one she had as a junior.
“Last year, three of us qualified for state,” she had said. “I'm just hoping for another good season.”
As the only returning player, the stakes were set high, even if she didn't realize it. Under those circumstances she managed to rise to the occasion more than a few times and she consistently finished with the best scores of the team for Franklin.
Back in August, Coach Keith Pinnix had said that Campbell was a solid player and on that he was right. Week in and week out, he relayed the scores from their matches that were held throughout western North Carolina and most of those weeks, Campbell managed to finish near the top of competition. She ended up being named All-Conference and qualifying for the state championship.
Over the duration of the season, the women's golf team played a number of different courses, most of which Campbell has played before during her time on the team so she's been able to develops her favorites and her not so favorites.
“I definitely didn't like West or Etowah,” she emphasized. “My favorite probably has to be here at Mill Creek since we practiced here. It's the best course.”
With season best scores of 36 on nine holes and 79 on 18 holes, she entered into the state championship just thankful for making it so far.
“My goal is to come in the top 20 at least,” Campbell said last week during practice for the championship. “If better then that's good and if not, then that's fine too.”
To that, she achieved her goal.
She played in the regional tournament last Monday at Linville Falls Golf Course in Marion where she finished tied for first place in the game that punched her ticket to Pinehurst. Though she eventually came in third following a playoff scenario, Campbell was still happy with the result.
“I knew she expected to do well, but I don't think she expected to be tied for first,” Pennix said regarding her finish at Regionals.
Campbell confirmed those comments.
“I didn't think I'd be in first when I was playing. I wasn't playing as good as I thought I could be playing,” she said.
When different teams meet up to compete, individuals are grouped together from the teams to play each hole at different times, therefore a player only knows the scores of the other players in her group. This is why it was a pleasant surprise for Campbell when the results were announced.
Though the season is done, she intends to continue to practice her golf game throughout the year and hopes to potentially land a golf scholarship.
“I'm looking for golf scholarships. I would like to maybe go to Gardner Webb if I could. I like it there,” says Campbell.
“She has certainly worked hard to get here, not just this year but in the past as well,” said Pinnix.