WALNUT COVE — As Mount Airy golf coach Tommye Phillips put it, the Bears growled back.
The defending Northwest 1A Conference champions were upset in their first meet of the season, back on Aug. 30 at Pilot Knob Country Club, when host East Surry pulled out the victory in a non-conference meet that involved several area schools. Although the Lady Bears’ Alyssa Cox was the medalist, the Lady Cardinals had been stronger down the lineup and relegated Mount Airy to a second-place finish.
The Lady Bears turned the tables in the first conference meet on Thursday evening, which was hosted by South Stokes at Hemlock Golf Club in Walnut Cove after a two-day delay due to bad weather.
Facing East Surry again, along with the other teams in the conference, Mount Airy posted a team score of 128, nine shots better than the Lady Cardinals, and claimed the early lead in what is shaping up to be an exciting race for the NW1A championship. Cox again claimed medalist honors with a nine-hole total of 36, and this time her teammates stood toe to toe with East Surry and got the win.
South Stokes (154) and North Stokes (159) were the only other conference members who fielded enough golfers to qualify as a team.
For East Surry, Madison Bowman finished second to Cox in the individual standings with a 42, followed by Elizabeth Carson in third with a score of 44.
The teams will return to Hemlock on Tuesday afternoon.