Gatesville clinched its third consecutive state berth by 18 strokes.
To Hornets golf coach Guy Dean, however, the margin was anything but comfortable.
Forced to rebound from an opening round of 324, Gatesville shaved 16 strokes off its score Tuesday at the Region I-3A golf tournament at Lubbock’s Shadow Hills Golf Course, finishing third with a two-day total of 632.
“It felt good once the final score was posted,” Dean said,” but it was never comfortable during the round.”
Once the leaderboards were updated, reflecting Gatesville’s 16-stroke improvement over Monday’s opening round, Dean could finally breath easy.
“Even on the first day, it was tension-packed,” Dean said of the highly competitive field. “It got to the point where we were worrying about the other team too much ... But they ended up playing really well, and I was really proud of their effort today.”
Three Hornets finished with rounds in the 70s as Katy Colson and Lauren Davis posted identical scores of 75 and teammate Kristen Smithhart shot a 77. Davis (156) made the biggest improvement, shaving six strokes off her opening round, while Colson (153) and Smithhart (156) improved by three and two strokes, respectively. Chelsy Tobin, who shot rounds of 86 and 81, rounded out the scorecard with a 167.
Two-time defending state champion Andrews and Snyder will join Gatesville at the Class 3A state tournament May 2-3 at Austin’s Jimmy Clay Golf Course. Andrews posted a 612 (317-295) to win the regional championship, while Snyder shot a 630 (311-319) to edge out the Hornets for second place by two strokes.
Monahans finished fourth, shooting matching rounds of 325 each day, while Lampasas finished fifth with a 696.
Considered to be one of the toughest regions in the state, Andrews, Gatesville, Snyder, Monahans and Lampasas are ranked first through fifth, respectively, according to HighSchoolGolfScoreboard.com.
Lampasas junior advances to state
For the third consecutive year, Lampasas junior Morgan Rogers is going to state.
This year, however, she will be going alone. After advancing to the Class 3A state tournament as a team in each of the last two seasons, the Lady Badgers were unable to make the cut, finishing fifth with a two-day total of 696, but Rogers finished third individually to continue her streak of state appearances.
“It is going to be unusual,” Rogers said. “I’m just going to be solo and on my own. It will be kind of nice … because I’ll be playing my own game, and I’ll be playing against the course.”
Rogers shaved seven strokes off her opening-round score, posting a 71 to finish with a 149 — the second-best score among individual qualifiers after Andrews’ Sarah Black defeated Burkburnett’s Sarah Moore in a playoff to determine first place.
Kena Cox shot a 163 (82-81), Abbie Carson finished with a 183 (94-89), and Destiny Carr posted a 201 (104-97) to round out the Lady Badgers’ scorecard. As a team, Lampasas, which lost three players from last season, improved by 20 strokes between rounds, shooting a 338 to close out the tournament and move from eighth to fifth place in the final standings.