DENTON – Local programs are making the most impact as medalists rather than as teams after the first day of the Region II-4A Girls Golf Tournament at Robson Ranch Golf Course Monday afternoon.
Carley Dear, of Red Oak, has the fourth best individual score with a 78; Waxahachie’s Kelsey Stovall and Midlothian’s Megan Richardson both shot an 81, to place them in a four-way tie with golfers from Hallsville and Highland Park 1.
In fact, it is Highland Park 1 that has a huge lead in the team category with a 311, which is 30 strokes better than second-place Frisco.
Waco Midway 1 (354), Highland Park 2 (360), Hallsville (362), McKinney North (362), Midlothian (364) and Waxahachie (367) follow.
"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," Midlothian coach Brant 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."
Among the Panthers golfers to compete are Amanda Hoover (88), Claire Hebert (93), Amber Beacham (102) and Casey Sprunck (108).
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 making the most of it despite being unfamiliar with the course. Plus, the windy conditions are making it that much harder.
For Waxahachie, Stovall is the lone golfer who has shot in the 80s, thanks to a couple of birdies.
Ana Engelhardt follows with a 94 after she played better in the back nine.
Among the other Indians golfers to compete are Elena Thomas (96), Christy Stephens (96) and Julia Bunch (125).
Waxahachie coach Terri Siebert said her team had a practice run last Thursday so she feels somewhat comfortable with the surroundings.
“The greens are hard for the players because of the undulations but overall I’m pleased with what we did," Siebert said.
The lone local medalists come from Red Oak.
Dear has played well despite windy conditions. Teammate Kelsey Thomas has played the best round of golf she has ever had, at least that’s what Red Oak Trish Garcia said of the senior’s 87 score.
“She sank a 20-foot putt in the 18th hole, she’s driving the ball," Garcia said. "I’ll tell you, she doesn’t have anything to lose and she’s playing her best golf ever."
Garcia said one of the reasons is that Thomas and Dear were taking notes during a practice round. Garcia said both have referred back to their notes on several occasions.
It’s the reason that Thomas is among only half a dozen golfers who are on the outside looking in regarding being in the Top 10 in the individual category.
Garcia said if she is able to continue to play like she did her first day, she could be makin g a possible trip to state with Dear.
If Dear advances, it would be her second time.
During her first day, the sophomore pared nine times, birdied twice to make up for two bogeys.
"She’s been working toward this all year and it began after she finished state last season," Garcia said.
There’s no rest for Dear as she could be seen practicing her putts immediately following her first day.
"There’s a place down below in the hotel where you could practice putts . . .where do you think (Dear) was," Garcia asked.
E-mail Albert at firstname.lastname@example.org