SOUTHERN PINES – Cole Jefferys of SouthWest Edgecombe fired a three-under par 68 on Tuesday to come back and take medalist honors in the 29th annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A men’s golf championships at the Longleaf Golf and Country Club.
Jefferys had a 36-hole score of three-under par 139 after an even par 71 on Monday to go with his 68 in the final round. He was three shots ahead of Salisbury’s Eric Edwards, who was the first day individual leader. Edwards had a 73 on Tuesday to go with an opening round 69.
There was a three-way tie for third decided by a playoff after Elliott Grayson of Shelby, Stephen Abrams of Wilson Beddingfield and Justin Emmons of Climax Providence Grove all finished at 145. Grayson took third and Abrams fourth.
Newton-Conover had a solid second day performance in the team race, recording a 306 to go with a first-day 304 for a total of 610, giving the Red Devils their second consecutive 2-A team championship.
Shelby placed second, seven shots back. The Golden Lions qualified for the state tournament for the seventh consecutive year and have not finished lower than sixth during that stretch.
Salisbury, which won the championship in 2011 and ’12, was third at 626. Only 33 shots separated the top spot and the 12th team at the bottom of the standings after the first day, but the standings opened up during the final 18 holes.
The course was set at par 71 and 6,591 yards for the NCHSAA championship.
Prior to 1986, all NCHSAA schools competed for a single title in an open tournament. Play went to three classifications in 1986 and then to four classes beginning with the 1998 tournaments.
A total of 84 golfers began play in the two-day tournament.