If there were any expectations set before the state tournament, the Midlothian High School girls golf team and Jasmine Zhang would have exceeded them.
The Lady Panthers finished third at the UIL Girls' Golf 5A state tournament on Tuesday at White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown. Midlothian carded a 664 (+70) in two days of competition.
Grapevine High School claimed the state title after posting a 620 (+44), while Mission Sharyland carded a 644 (+68) to best the Lady Panthers by two strokes.
“Honestly, we came in with no expectations,” said first-year Lady Panther head coach Carly Dear after the first round Monday. “We were just here to have fun.”
Although the Lady Panther program is new to the state tournament, standout Jasmine Zhang returned for the second year after qualifying last season as a junior. Zhang, who recently signed her National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Tulsa, claimed the 5A Region II title to earn another chance at a state title alongside her teammates.
Zhang placed second in the individual standings behind Magnolia's Halle Whitney. Zhang carded an even-par 144 to finish one stroke behind Whitney (143).
Zhang jumped two spots in the individual standings after she began the second day of competition tied for fourth with two other golfers. After bogeys on No. 7 and 12, she birdie 16 and 18 to finish the first round at even par.
She then opened round two with a one-under-par 35 on the front nine. Zhang then recorded a bogey on No. 14. The senior finished the state tournament with a pair of even-par 72s (144) and one stroke clear of Gabriella Tomanka of Grapevine.
Though she was the only Lady Panther that finished in the top-25 individually, Macie Gaither (+24, T-28) had a strong first round with a team-best three birdies (8,9 18). Kelly Dunn (+25, T-32) then carded a pair of birdies on her back-nine in round two on No. 10 and 14. She tied for 32nd with fellow Lady Panther Tiffany Cao (85-84), as both finished with a 169 two-day total.
Additional reporting by Travis M. Smith/Daily Light.
Dekota Gregory, @dekotagregory