The 2017-18 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Golf Teams were selected based on performance and level of competition primarily at the high school level.
GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Rachel Heck, St. Agnes Academy
RELATED: ALL-USA Boys Golf Teams
Name: Dennis Burchill
School: Lake Mary (Fla.)
As the two-time defending Florida Class 3A state champ, the Lake Mary High girls golf team didn’t spend a lot of time last fall looking up at its opponents. But as the Rams approached the first tee of the state tournament’s final round in early November, the scoreboard after the first round made clear the task ahead: Niceville 297, Lake Mary 300.
Lake Mary went out and took care of business. The Rams combined to shoot an even-par 288 on the Mission Inn Las Colinas course in Howey-in-the-Hills to beat Niceville by nine strokes and claim the fourth state title in seven years for coach Dennis Burchill, the 2018 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Coach of the Year.
“In the previous two seasons, we had not played from behind in any round,” Burchill said. “In our team meeting before Day 2, we [said] ‘Great teams don’t panic, they perform.’”
The Rams did just that as all four golfers shot better in Round 2 than they did in Round 1. Senior Jenny Kim carded a 66 to lead the charge and claim the individual state title with a two-round score of six-under-par 138. Fellow senior Macy Somoskey shot a 70 to place fourth with a 142 total—Kim and Somoskey were two of only four golfers to finish the tournament under-par.
Sophomore Alyssa Mercado (151) and junior Kayla Li (157) were the other scorers for the Rams, who set a team record with their 588 total. It was the lowest score in the state’s highest classification tournament since 2006.
“We know there is no ‘magic dust’ and we know that we win championships by what we do in the nine months between seasons,” said Burchill, who moonlights in the spring as the Lake Mary baseball coach. “I was extremely proud of their performance, their composure, and their competitive confidence. I was excited to see them realize that their hard work had again been rewarded.”
LOOKBACK: 2016-17 ALL-USA Girls Golf Teams