By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
MURPHY – Cherokee High School senior Christian Ensley carded an 80 to lead the Braves to a fifth place finish in the first round of the Smoky Mountain Conference tournament at the Cherokee Hills Golf Club in Murphy on Thursday, April 23. The Braves finished with a team total of 390 behind 1st place Highlands (336), 2nd place Murphy (340), 3rd place Swain (355), and 4th place Hayesville (386). Robbinsville (394) and Blue Ridge (421) rounded out the field with Rosman and Nantahala not having enough members to qualify as a team.
“It was an up and down day for most of our guys,” said Braves Head Coach Andrew Maney. “Considering our guys didn’t get to play this course all season, they didn’t play that bad. Christian played well and is in third place overall out of the entire Smoky Mountain Conference.”
Ensley’s 80 led the Braves, along with Steven Straughan (101), John Lossiah (104), Josh Taylor (105), and Dustin Johnson (110).
The second round of the SMC tournament is scheduled for Monday, April 27 at Sapphire National Golf Club in Sapphire. The top four teams of the tournament advance to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Regional Tournament at the Cleghorn Plantation in Rutherford on May 4 and 5. The Braves are currently on the outside looking in behind the Hayesville Yellowjackets.
“We need to make up four strokes over Hayesville to qualify for Regionals as a team, which is something I know we are capable of,” said Maney.
To view or purchase photos from this match, visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/GOLF/Braves-2015/SMC-Championship-First-Round/