By Brian Hoffman
Salem High sophomore Kathryn Ha shot a five-under-par 67 to win the Virginia High School League Class 4 state golf championship Monday. Blacksburg, of the River Ridge District, won the team championship at the Stonehenge Golf & Country Club in Richmond.
Playing as an individual along with Spartan teammate Trey Joyce, Kathryn played early before the team members teed off. She hit the turn at three-under with birdies on the par 4 third hole and back-to-back birds on the par 5 sixth and par 3 seventh.
On the back nine Ha parred the 10th hole, then had birdies on back-to-back par 5s on 11 and 12. She finished out the round with six straight pars, giving her five birdies and 13 pars for the day. She birdied three of the four par fives.
“She played very well,” said Salem coach Thad Snyder. “That’s the first state champion from Salem in my 23 years as coach.”
Ha is just the second state champion in Salem High golf history. Kevin Wirt was the individual champion in 1983 when the Salem High team won the Group AAA state title, which was the highest classification at that time.
Kathryn’s 67 was one stroke better than Jack Albert of Blacksburg, who played later in the day with the golfers who qualified on teams. River Ridge District and Region 4D champ Blacksburg edged Western Albemarle, 289 to 291, to win the team state championship.
Joyce, a senior, shot a 76 and tied for 23rd out of 60 golfers in the field.
“His day could have gone sideways but he hung in there,” said Snyder. “Trey has worked very hard at his game and I was glad he was able to play in the state tournament. He’s a great kid.”
Two other Salem girls, Macy Johnson and Taylor Davis, will play at the Hidden Valley Country Club Monday in a Zone Qualifier to try and qualify for the state girls’ tournament. The state tournament for girls is October 24 and Ha will not be included since she played in the overall state tournament this week.