During the course of the year, she earned the right to go to the Class II State Girls Golf Tournament at the Kirkwood National Golf Club in Holly Springs.
On Tuesday, Phillips was in a three-way battle for the individual state title with Itawamba AHS’s Carlee Nanney and New Hope’s Mary Grace Caldwell. When the day was over, Phillips finished with a solid 86 to end up in a tie for with second with Caldwell. Nanney finished two strokes ahead with an 84 to win the title.
For Phillips, this was her first trip to the state tournament.
She felt her experience at state was special.
“Being at state, it was a great experience,” Phillips said. “It was really wet and kind of rough the first day. I just went out there and just played my best. I did what I expected. I kept it safe, played as hard as I could and kept my head up.”
The tournament was an ordeal in the beginning for Phillips as bad weather reared its ugly head.
“On Sunday, she went down for a practice round and it was raining and we really couldn’t play,” Phillips said. “On the first day, it was raining and it was flooded. We couldn’t play and the game got canceled. On the second day, we played and we only got one chance to play. We couldn’t really play again.”
Wit the damage the rain did, Phillips knew she had to give it her all on Tuesday.
“When I figured I only had one round, I knew I had to play my best,” Phillips said. “Without that second day, you just really can’t redeem yourself. I only had one chance, so I had to make it my best.”
Cleveland High head golf coach Betsy Upchurch said Phillips made a lasting impression on everybody in the tournament.
“She had a tremendous amount of patience and focus through out the whole round,” Upchurch said. “She was able to maintain that focus the whole time through. I was just proud that she could handle the pressure, and she impressed a lot of the coaches there. She was able to drive the ball and hit her fairways.
“When you get her on a course, not much bothers her. She’s really tough and she’s a competitor.”
In the 4A Boys State Golf Tournament on Wednesday and Thursday, Cleveland finished 10th with a two-day score of 745.
Will Midlick shined for Cleveland by scoring a 169. David Midlick posted the second best score on Cleveland’s team with a 177, followed by John Blanchard with a 198, John Matthews with a 201 and Campbell Saia with a 218.