By DANNY P. SMITH
Starkville Academy golfer Korakot Simsiriwong wasn't sure where her game stood after hitting early at the Starkville Country Club driving range Monday morning.
Simsiriwong's stroke off the tee just wasn't there.
As she progressed through the Starkville Academy Invitational, Simsiriwong got into a groove.
Simsiriwong, who signed to play college golf at Marshall earlier this year, was the medalist with a score of 69 and helped the Volunteers to a second-place finish at the event with a team score of 302.
Madison-Ridgeland Academy had four golfers shoot 78 or lower and won the event with a score of 296, while Pillow Academy came in third with a 305. Magnolia Heights School came in with a 318 and Heritage Academy finished with a 321.
"I would have liked to have seen us win because 302 is a really good score," Simsiriwong said.
On a very windy morning and afternoon in Starkville, SA golf coach Chris Lyle was pleased with the way his squad performed.
He hopes the momentum will carry over to Thursday's North AAA play at Senatobia's Back Acres Golf Course hosted by Magnolia Heights.
"I can't say anything negative about our play thus far and I'm hoping Thursday will be a new start and beginning as we wrap this season up," Lyle said. "I thought they played extremely well today."
Simsiriwong was concerned about how she would play coming off the driving range, but those worries began to disappear once the action came down the stretch.
"On the back nine, I got it together and everything went good with my putting and hitting," Simsiriwong said. "The course played really short today and that helped too."
Lyle knows how hard Simsiriwong works and was glad to see her shoot under 70.
"This was a good day for her because she has been kind of, I wouldn't say struggling, but not playing up to the standard she sets for herself," Lyle said. "For her to shoot a 69, she did a wonderful job."
The other finishers for the Vols were Day Silawanna with a 72, Harper Arnold with a 78, Wyatt Allen with an 83, John Kyle Hewlett with an 87 and Pat Jones with a 99.
Silawanna, like Simsiriwong, is from Thailand and the pair have joined forces to help SA's golf team.
"Our families are friends back in Thailand and we met from golf," Simsiriwong said. "She is actually living with me. We practice together. She is going to a Division II school in California on a golf scholarship."
Even though the wind was a little strong for competition, Lyle called it "a beautiful day" to host a tournament.
"This was good for Starkville and the community," Lyle said. "The high school was here and we had a really good turnout."
Starkville High School's boys shot a 344 as a team. Ryan Lacy led the Jackets with an 84, while Ben Newman shot an 85, Logan Maddox carded an 86, Cameron Maddox had an 89 and Jace Hobart shot a 90.