Taylor Bunten, Anna Redding and sisters Annie and Kate Collom have meant everything to the Cannon golf program over the past two seasons.
The Cannon quartet, which makes up the entire Cougars team, has not only won the only two NCISAA girls’ golf state championships, but done so in dominant fashion, winning by 22 shots in 2011, and 26 shots last year.
With the foursome back, along with second-year coach and PGA professional Pat Whisenant, the Cougars are focused on another championship season.
“I’ve never seen four kids more dedicated as they (are) to the sport and this team,” said Whisenant, who is trying to get more girls to come out for the team. “Our goal is always to go undefeated and win the state championship. Our girls wouldn’t be happy with anything less.”
All four girls have had strong summers.
Kate Collom, who is from Davidson, added 15-20 yards to her drive and now hits the ball 240-250 yards consistently. Her younger sister, Annie, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur with Kate caddying. Redding, of Concord, was the lone player under par during her win at the North-South Junior Championships at Pinehurst No. 1. And Bunten, who also plays soccer, has become a more consistent player, according to Whisenant.
The Collom sisters and Redding were all-state performers last year with Kate finishing as state runner-up. Redding finished as the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association champion. All three are also all Division I recruiting targets.
“The biggest challenge could be which school these girls go to play golf,” Whisenant said.
As all four girls improve their individual games, they also hope Cannon reaps the benefits.
Cannon will also look to top the winner of the last three N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A titles, Salisbury, which was the only team that defeated the Cougars last year.
“All girls have accomplished a lot,” Whisenant said. “But I think they are just as motivated by what they haven’t done. They are just as excited and hungry to win another state (championship) this year.”
Another area school is also in the hunt for a repeat. Ardrey Kell will attempt to win its second straight N.C. 4A title, which would also be its third title in the past four years.
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