DENTON - An indicator of how the Midlothian Panthers’ girls golf team did after the first day of the regional tournament could be heard in coach Brant Bennett’s voice.
He spoke about how the girls could use the “experience” of playing at the Robson Ranch Golf Club “to get better.”
Their first-day score of 364 was not up to Midlothian standards after winning the District 15-4A title a few weeks ago.
In the regional tournament, the Panthers trailed by 10 strokes behind third-place Waco Midway 1 and 23 strokes behind second place Frisco.
Highland Park 1 was first with a 311 score. Only the top two teams advance to the state tournament in Austin.
It’s a far cry from a year ago when Midlothian actually missed out on a state qualification by less than three strokes.
Bennett said at this point, his players are not thinking about any motivation that may have been needed to produce a sound spring season.
“Funnier things have happened in golf but we just need to go out there on the second day and get some experience,” Bennett said.
A practice run on Monday was all the Panthers were able to get in on a golf course that had originally been scheduled during the spring.
Bennett said inclement weather forced them to cancel their only Denton-area tournament.
He said most of his players are paying for it because they are unfamiliar with the course and the windy conditions are making it that much harder.
The only player that is producing well is Megan Richardson, who shot a team-best 81.
Her score was among the tourney’s top six scores tied with Kelsey Stovall, of Waxahachie.
Bennett said if the team fails to qualify and Richardson, just a junior, is able to maintain a good score, she could qualify as a medalist.
After the first day, junior Amanda Hoover shot an 88, junior Claire Hebert 93 and sophomore Amber Beacham 102.
Sophomore Casey Sprunck followed with a 108.
“It’s a pretty tough golf course to play in if you haven’t been here before but now that we have, we should know what to expect regardless of the conditions,” Bennett said. “We have enough girls that are coming back and there is a lot of depth on this team so I think we’ll be okay.”
Midlothian comes into the tournament a winner of seven consecutive district titles.
Final results will appear in next week’s issue.
E-mail Albert at email@example.com