South Brunswick’s Jillian Fatkin claims 3A girls golf state title

Cover photo courtesy of NCHSAA

Jillian Fatkin waited anxiously early Tuesday evening as the final pairings finished their rounds at the NCHSAA 3A Girls Golf State Championship at Foxfire Golf Club in Pinehurst.

Back-to-back pars on holes No. 17 and 18 helped the South Brunswick senior finish with a two-day total of 153 (75-78), which made her the leader in the clubhouse. 

South Central’s Haley Paramore was one stroke behind with several holes to play. When she bogeyed No. 17 and failed to hole out her second shot on the par-4 finishing hole, Fatkin could finally celebrate her two-stroke victory. 

South Brunswick’s Jillian Fatkin won the NCHSAA 3A state title. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

“This has been a goal ever since my freshman year,” Fatkin said. “I told myself I was going to win states.”

Fatkin, who recently committed to continue her career at Queens University, became the first golfer (male or female) from Brunswick County to claim a state title. 

The last female from South Brunswick to win a NCHSAA sanctioned title was high jumper Vikki Williams in 2002. 

After finishing 16th in her first trip the state championship in 2021, Fatkin had back-to-back top-five finishes. She shot 157 as a sophomore to place third. Last year’s score of 152 gave her a fourth-place finish.

For the first time in her career, Fatkin slept on a lead. She shot 75 in the opening round to share the top spot on the leaderboard with Jacksonville’s Sanaa Carter.

Both players opened the final round with a birdie. Fatkin also birdied the par-5 second hole, while Carter made a triple bogey. 

Fatkin’s lead evaporated after she made a triple-bogey on No. 6 and a double-bogey on No. 7.

“It got in my head a little bit,” Fatkin said. “I hit what was I thought was a really good shot at six. It was a low-flighted shot, and apparently it stuck right by the pin and then hopped on a downslope and went out of bounds.” 

Carter shot 41 on the front nine, while Fatkin finished with a 42. A short conversation at the turn with veteran coach Jeff Register helped Fatkin remember she could only control what was in front of her.

“I really tried focusing more on the next shot, and not worrying so much about my score,” Fatkin said. 

Fatkin played the first five holes of the back nine in 2-under thanks to birdies on No. 12 and 14. She had back-to-back bogeys on holes 15 and 16, but then made two crucial pars to finish her round of 78. 

“This was my last high school golf event, so I wanted to play my best,” Fatkin said. “I didn’t have my best round today, but I finished strong and still won.”

Fatkin led the field with six total birdies. She also made an eagle in the opening round. 

Carter, Paramore and Trinity White of Hibriten all finished two strokes behind Fatkin. 

South Brunswick junior Lilly Powell finished in a tie for 15th after shooting rounds of 88 and 84 for a total of 172. She was eighth last season with a total score of 161.

4A State Championship at Pinehurst No. 6

For the second time in her career, Hoggard junior Ellie Hildreth finished fifth against a talented field.

Hildreth shot a 74 a day after carding a 71 for a two-day total of 145. That was three strokes behind Leah Edwards of Northwest Guilford and defending champion Elizabeth Rudisill of Myers Park.

Edwards ended up winning the title in a playoff.

Hildreth, a recent N.C. State commit, also finished fifth as a freshman in 2021. She tied for 13th a season ago. 

The Vikings placed 11th out of 16 teams with a two-day total of 500 (243-257). Pinehurst shot 449 to claim a 10-stroke victory over Northwest Guilford. 

Grace Caudill (85-92) tied for 63rd, Madison Fankboner (88-91) tied for 68th, Kayla Statile (87-94) placed 74th and Sarah Johnson (90-92) tied for 75th.

In her final high school event, Ashley’s Sarah Enright finished in a tie for 44th after shooting rounds of 81 and 87.

Laney’s MK O’Malley (93-92) and Karly Woodall (92-93) tied for 79th. Topsail’s Morgan Augustine (96-97) was 84th, while teammate Lillian Swann (104-90) followed in 85th.