Cannon’s varsity golf team dominates


Cannon School’s varsity girls golf team just keeps getting better!  Here’s a recent article about the team that was published in the Charlotte Observer.

Published by the Charlotte Observer (Lake Norman News), October 8, 2012

By Jay Edwards

For most of the last two seasons, the Cannon School girls’ golf team has dominated nearly every obstacle in its path, going a combined 16-0 with only the final four matches of the 2012 season left.
But if you think the defending NCISAA 3A state champion Cougars’ girls golf team is going to get complacent, think again.
While juniors Taylor Bunten, 16 of Concord, and Kate Collom, 16, of Davidson and sophomores Annie Collom, 15, (Kate’s younger sister) and Anna Redding, 15, of Concord have accomplished a lot, especially for a team of only four girls, they aren’t even close to being done.
“I think we want to go to conference and states even more than we did last year,” Kate Collom said. “To do that by going undefeated would be even more special. We all have a lot of fun together on the course, but we are also very competitive with each other. I think that is what makes our team so good.”
While the Cannon girls’ team was strong last season, they have gotten even better this year under the guidance of lifetime PGA professional and new head coach Pat Whisenant, who also works with Titleist Golf and as a private instructor.
Whisenant, 65, who took over during the Cannon boys’ golf season last year and became girls coach this year, has presented new challenges to his team, including a harder schedule.
But the Cougars haven’t missed a beat as they are not only a perfect 7-0 this season (including 4-0 in conference play) but have already beaten defending public school champions in Salisbury (1A/2A) and Ledford High (3A) in the same dual match. The Cougars didn’t just win the match, they dominated, beating Salisbury by eight strokes and Ledford by 31 shots.
They also beat Charlotte Country Day by 35, Latin by 49 and Providence Day by 18 strokes.
“The girls are always focused on shooting a better score each week, each match, and I think that is a big key to our success,” Whisenant said. “They are not only best friends and love playing with each other. But are all also very committed to golf and work very hard at it. It’s a pretty unique situation, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”
The four girls were not only all-state performers, but they continue to improve as they play golf year-round on the N.C. Junior circuit, with Kate ranked No. 19 in the state, Anna No. 23 and Annie No. 37. The Colloms and Redding also have single-digit handicaps, while Bunten’s handicap is about 10 to 12. All four girls also hope to play college golf and should be on the recruiting radar already.
The girls now turn their attention to the final two regular season matches with Providence Day and then a dual match with Durham Academy and Raleigh Ravenscroft, before playing in the CISAA conference tournament Oct. 16 at River Run Country Club and then the NCISAA 3A state meet at Mid Pines in Pinehurst.
“We definitely feel like we will win conference and then have a great chance to win states again,” Kate Collom said. “We feel like if we play well, then no one else will beat us, and we will win it all, again.”
While the Cannon girls haven’t won anything just yet, they also had an unusual opportunity and accomplishment last week when the Cougar girls’ team tied the Cougar boys’ golf team – who were third at the state meet last year – in best-ball scramble match.
While the girls played from the ladies’ tees and the boys’ from the back tees, it still ended in a tie as both teams shot five-under-par in the nine-hole event.
“I thought that it would be a pretty even match, under the circumstances,” said Kate Collom, who played with the boys when Cannon had a coed team during her freshman year. “While we wanted to beat them, it actually feels pretty good to tie, because we know they are really good, too.”
While Whisenant the others are totally focused on the tasks at hand in the next weeks, including a conference and state title, the Cannon golf program also hopes to make a clean sweep of state championships, with girls winning later this month and the boys possibly taking the NCISAA 3A title next May.
“It would be great if both teams could win a state championship in the same year,” Whisenant said. “That is definitely the goal for both teams.”
This copyrighted story appeared on October 8, 2012, in The Charlotte Observer‘s Lake Norman News section, at www.newsoflakenorman.com.