Emily Hawkins of Lexington was at her best with the pressure on in 2016.
Hawkins won the Carolinas Golf Association’s two biggest girls’ titles, claiming the North Carolina Junior Girls’ Championship and the Carolinas Junior Girls.
In September, she beat a national field in the AJGA Girls’ Championship at Furman University Golf Club.
“I had a great year,” said Hawkins, a homeschooler who has committed to attend Campbell beginning in the fall of 2018. “It was exciting. I’m so happy. I improved a lot.”
Hawkins’ outstanding summer began with a victory in the CGA Junior Girls’ at Country Club of Salisbury. After tying for 9th in qualifying for match play, she won five matches, beating medalist Riley Smyth of Cary 2 and 1 and defending champion Grace Massengill of Hickory 4 and 3 on the final day.
At the CGA Junior Girls’, Hawkins beat Kathleen Sumner of Charleston in a playoff in sweltering heat the final day at Colonial Country Club in Thomasville after the players tied at 1-over 214. Hawkins overcame a stunning birdie at No. 17 by Sumner, a Florida State recruit, who holed out a bunker shot. Hawkins won with a par on the first playoff hole.
Hawkins rallied from a two-stroke deficit entering the final round at Furman with her third consecutive 2-under 70. She beat Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn., and Brooke Sansom of Pike Road, Ala., by one shot.
Name: Emily Hawkins
Honor: CGA Girls’ Player of the Year
2016 Tournaments Won: CGA N.C. Junior Girls’ Championship, CGA Carolinas Junior Girls’ Championship, AJGA Girls Championship at Furman University.
Best Round: 70 in final round of AJGA Championship at Furman. After playing the first four holes in 3-over, Hawkins made four consecutive birdies beginning at No. 6, where she knocked a wedge approach close enough for a tap-in birdie. “That really gave me a kick start to the round.” At the par-3 16th, Hawkins made an 8-foot uphill putt for birdie, giving her a one-shot victory over two competitors.
Magic Moment: The 8-foot birdie putt on her 52nd hole at Furman was the winning margin. “It was a pretty straight uphill putt. I hit some big shots under pressure.”
2017 Goal: “I want to try to improve my scoring average from 74-something to 72 and continue to challenge myself.” – By J