Macy Pate, a sophomore at Reagan High School, fired a 14-under 57 on Tuesday to easily win the individual title at the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference championships at Bermuda Run West.
Pate birdied 14 of 18 holes to break the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s scoring record. Bermuda Run West plays as a par-71 and was playing about 4,800 yards.
“I started on No. 7 and got off to a good start by making birdie on three of the first four holes,” she said. “But I just kept hitting my wedge shots really close, and my putter was hot, so it was a great combination.”
Pate is part of the defending state champions for girls’ golf. Her teammates include senior Morgan Ketchum, who has committed to Virginia Tech and junior Anna Howerton, who recently committed to High Point. Ketchum shot 64 and lost by five seven shots and Howerton shot 69 as the Raiders won the conference championship.
Pate set the NCHSAA state record for lowest 18-hole score in history, beating Jennifer Chang, who recorded a 10 under 61 at the Tri-6 Conference Championship Tournament at Pine Hollow Golf Course in 2017.
Pate’s 57 is also the lowest for girls and boys in NCHSAA history.
Pate said she arrived at her 16th hole and knew if she made a short putt she could shoot 59.
“I made that putt and felt relief, but then I birdied my final two holes for the 57 so it was very exciting,” Pate said.
She wound up shooting a 27 on the front side and a 30 on the back side.
Pate, who plays and practices at Maple Chase Golf & Country Club where the Raiders also practice and play a lot of matches, said her father was in constant contact with Brad Leubchow, who is her main swing coach. She also gets instructions from Dianne Dailey, a former women’s golf coach at Wake Forest.
“So it was kind of funny but my dad was texting Brad with my scores and how low I was doing and he was like ‘If this is an April’s Fool joke then it’s not funny at all,’” Pate said.
Coach Jay Allred and the Raiders will play in regionals next week and then will go for a repeat as state 4-A champions later this month.
“It’s really hard to describe what was going on and I just sort of hit the shots and tried to make the putts when I had chances,” Pate said. “I made two birdie putts with one about 20 feet and one that was 15 feet so there was nothing crazy long that I made.”
As for how many putts she did have during her record-setting round, she didn’t know.
“I haven’t counted them up but there weren’t a lot,” she said.