CLOVERDALE -- When Heather Hughes walked off the front nine at Clover Meadows Thursday, the look on her face said it all.
The bitterness of her score could be felt by anyone walking near her. After carding a three-over par 39 at the turn, Hughes turned in an 11-over par 83 final score and she was sure that her chances of repeating as champion were dashed.
But when the final scores were announced, that bitterness turned to amazement as she was awarded the individual champion award for the second straight year.
"I figured that someone else would have turned in a better score than what I had," Hughes said about her 83.
Hughes' face lit up when she won the individual award, but when she found out that her whole team repeated -- her jaw hit the floor.
"That was a total surprise and nice that the team won again," Hughes said. "Especially with us having a new person on the team this year. Our No.5 is new this year, and she pulled through and helped us win today."
South Putnam won the tournament with a combined score of 385.
Hughes was happy that she and her team repeated as champions and have started the season on a high note, but she knows there is room for improvement.
"I did great on the back nine, but my putts hurt me on the front," Hughes said. "I missed four birdie putts out there."
Hughes wasn't the only one that the front nine played havoc with. Kayla Langdon of Cloverdale struggled as well. At the turn, Langdon was two over par with a 38, but by the time she finished the front nine, she was well beyond par.
"That front is just in my head," Langdon said. "I don't know what it is, maybe because I've never done well on it. I don't know, but that is something that I am going to work on this season."
Langdon said that her back was hurting her when she was on the front nine and thinks that had something to do with the way she shot.
"I've had problems with my back since the softball season, so it's starting to come around now," Langdon said
The front nine gave her trouble, but when it comes to the back part of Clover Meadows, Langdon knows how to get the job done. She turned in a 38 on the back side, parring every hole but three. She birdied No. 10, doubled the 11th hole and bogied hole No. 17.
"I just know what club to use and where to hit the ball. I have measured it out so much and practiced it so much," Langdon said.
Langdon finished with a 91 for the day, earning her the third place in the individual awards and helped her team to a second place finish with a 398.
"We did pretty good, compared what we were a year ago," CHS Coach Ken Williams said. "We are still gauging on how good we will be this year, but we are very happy with a second place finish this year."
The other person who really stood out on the Lady Clovers team was Victoria Boyette. She carded a 98 for the day, with a birdie on the fifth hole, tying her for seventh place in the individual standings.
Grace Aker from South Putnam also finished in the top 7 individuals, checking in at No. 5 with a 91.
Cloverdale and South Putnam are back in action today when they take part in the Eagle Invitational at Oak Ridge, starting a 9 a.m.
At Clover Meadows Golf Course
Team Scores -- 1. South Putnam 385, 2. Cloverdale 398, 3. Cascade 403, 4. Danville 425, 5. North Central 427, 6. Tri-West 477
Individual Scores -- 1. Hughes (SP) 83, 2. Smyth (CA) 86, 3. Langdon (CL) 91, 4. Whalen (SM) 91, 5. Aker (SP) 91, 6. Luckey (DV) 97, 7. Boyette (CL) 98, 7. McClaine (NC) 98
South Putnam -- Hughes 83, Aker 91, Perry 106, Searles 105, Orton 123
Cloverdale -- Langdon 91, Wiley 104, Boyette 98, Shrum 105, Ellebrecht 153, Brooke 133
Next Match -- Cloverdale and South Putnam are back in action today when they take part in the Eagle Invitational at Oak Ridge, starting a 9 a.m.