Easley High Golf Coach Dave Giffin is experiencing a feeling he hasn’t been familiar with since 2005. The feeling of a state champion, that is.
For the third time in school history, the Easley golf team hoisted the trophy to claim top honors across the state. The Green Wave wrapped up their season by winning 2012 Kiwanis SC AAAA State High School Golf Championship at Furman University on Tuesday.
“I’m ecstatic and they are too,” said Giffin. “I’m proud of the boys and how they’ve accomplished everything. It was a real treat to see them take it and win it and do what they were able to do.”
The tournament, which was a two-day event consisting of 36 holes on Day One and 18 on Day Two, was threatened by weather, but that did not dampen the effort by the Green Wave. Easley posted a three day total of 897 to finish ahead of second place finisher Blythewood HS (908) by 11 strokes. South Aiken finished in third place with a total of 922.
Trace Crowe was the second-place individual medalist, posting scores of 70, 73, and 73 (216). Crowe was named to the All-State Team. Adam Garrett was also named to the All-State Team with scores of 79, 72, and 72 (223), and finished in 7th place out of 98 golfers.
Ryan Lamb and Trevor Phillips rounded out the championship effort with each posting totals of 229. Matt Carter and Kirkland Manning also contributed to the cause playing alternating rounds each day.
“I think this was a celebration of the entire season,” said Giffin. “I think they were relieved and happy to bring another state championship to Easley.”
Giffin says he was extremely impressed with the performance of his top four guys.
“The four that have played consistently (Phillips, Crowe, Garrett, and Lamb) are all the most valuable,” said Giffin. “Each one brings a different part of their game, but they have had consistency. Ryan Lamb, from last year to this year, has come so far and has played excellent. Same thing goes for Adam and Trace and Trevor.”
“One day one of them is going to shoot a lower score than the other, but they are all basically the same,” he said. “It’s amazing, and they’ve meant a lot to the team.”
Easley advanced to the State Tournament by winning both the Regional Qualifier held at Southern Oaks GC and the Upperstate Tournament held at Woodfin Ridge CC in Inman, SC. Giffin says getting his golfers to this stage meant putting in a lot of hours of work.
“What we do year in and year out is put the kids in a position where we play in a lot of tournaments,” said Giffin. “They were nervous, but once they got out there they weren’t afraid. I said, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go out there and play your game and we’ll win this thing.’ They have been doing that all year.”
With not a senior of the bunch, Giffin has plenty to look forward to next season.
“If they continue to work hard and do the things we need to do this summer, we will be back next year,” said Giffin. “I’ll have them a full slate of tournaments so we can compete and get better, so the opportunity is even greater next year.”
While this is the third State Championship for Easley, Giffin is continuing to add to a legacy that already has quite a few championship teams.
“What we’ve built is a tradition,” said Giffin. “These kids have embraced it and they just want to keep it going. When they realized their dream (on Tuesday) it was a joy for them to be able to put their names in the books at Easley.”