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Nunneley makes history again, wins golf regionals!

Submitted by Ray McDade on October 13, 2017 – 6:26 amNo Comment
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Senior Courtney Nunneley made Alpena sports history and shocked Division II – Region 7 High School Girl’s Golf, carding an 81, a score good enough to tie for first overall with Swartz Creek’s Skyler Henry.  Nunneley bested Henry on the first playoff hole, becoming Alpena’s first Girl’s Regional Golf Overall Medalist at Currie Country Club in Midland, Michigan.

Alpena placed sixth out of twelve teams at the competition.  Senior Maddie Parr notched her career lowest round away from home with a 92, which included a string of 6 straight pars.  Assistant Captain and Junior Brynna Smith slashed 13 strokes off last year’s regional performance to net a 104.  With only three months of golfing experience, new-comer freshman Kennedy Ellis scrambled her way to a 118.

Nunneley called on three years of varsity experience as she managed her round.  “I just tried to stay calm and play shot by shot,” Courtney commented.  Nunneley sprinkled a few bogeys with many pars while avoiding any notable challenges until her 16th hole.  Courtney’s drive found the edge of the woods, resulting in a thirty-minute delay while officials ruled on her situation.  Nunneley chose to take an unplayable penalty and hit the shot of the tournament from the cart path to put up a five on the par four.

“When I hit into the woods, I ended up with three coaches and then two rules officials and a news photographer there for what seemed like forever trying to determine what my options were.  Ultimately, I felt my best bet was to play off the cart path and aim for the front part of the green.  I ended up making a fifteen-foot put to salvage my bogey,” Courtney explained. “That was the critical moment of the tournament for me.”

When Courtney entered the scoring area, she had no idea she had tied for the overall tournament lead.  “I’d been looking at the scores and saw that I was tied for the lead.  I had no idea I’d have to go to a playoff.”  Courtney’s coaches, Kim & Mike Nunneley, told her to start warming up.  “Traverse City Central’s Coach Lo came over to me and said, “Courtney prepare for anything.”  I was still confused because I really didn’t know what was happening,” Courtney recalled.

Heading to the playoff, Head Coach Nunneley asked her how she wanted to play the hole.  “I had just finished playing number ten, our first playoff hole.  I had hit a driver during the round and almost found the woods again.  I decided to go with a 4-hybrid to keep the ball in play.  Luckily, I was the first to hit and drove it down the middle,” Nunneley noted.

After Courtney’s tee shot found the fairway, her opponent chose a driver and sliced the ball to the right.  Forced to chip back to her fairway, Henry lay 2 near Courtney’s drive.  Nunneley used a 6-hybrid get to the front of the green in two while Skyler narrowly avoided the greenside bunker, but was left with an uphill chip.  Both players found the green and exchanged putts, leaving Courtney Nunneley the overall medalist by one stroke in the playoff.

“I’ve never experienced my hands shaking while making a putt.  I was so focused on the shots, I didn’t realize I’d just won the tournament!” Nunneley continued.  “I’ll never forget my teammates and Traverse City Central’s team surrounding me in celebration,” Courtney recalled.

Courtney carded the lowest Regional score in Alpena High history, just behind her all-time Wildcat record score of 78.  “Courtney’s two goals this year were to make First Team All-Big North Conference and earn a spot at States.   Never in her or my wildest dreams did either of us think she’d win the golf tournament.  She’s had the skills and has finally put it all together over the last few weeks,” observed Coach Mike.

Courtney now heads to State Competition in Battle Creek, MI at Bedford Valley Golf Club October 20 and 21. “We’re going to head down the day before and get in a practice round and then we’ll see what happens.  I’m going to approach it just the way I have for the last few weeks, hit the ball, find the ball, hit the ball and putt it as soon as it’s puttable,” Courtney concluded.

Interviews with Courtney can be made by contacting 989-326-1857 if you have further questions.  Also, additional video is available upon request.


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