By Angel Verdejo and Alex Byington
Harker Heights Herald
AUSTIN - What mirrored machine-like precision the first day fell apart in Day 2 for Taylor O'Rear.
One day after leading the field by two strokes with an even-par 71 May 12, the Salado senior bogeyed three of her final five holes for a 6-over-par 77 before losing on the first playoff hole to finish second individually at the 3A girls state golf tournament May 13 at Roy Kizer Golf Course.
"Unfortunately, I didn't want to be in that position, but that's where I put myself," O'Rear said.
O'Rear's struggles - including a double bogey on the par-5 No. 6 - allowed Sarah Black of Andrews to close the gap - she birdied two of her final four holes to force the tie after 36 holes.
O'Rear and Black went to No. 9, with O'Rear recovering from a tee shot that landed between Nos. 1 and 10, and reaching just outside the green with her second shot.
Both ended up looking at par putts. O'Rear pushed her attempt to the right, while Black sank hers.
"I didn't hit the ball well today and that's my downfall," said O'Rear, who will play at Mary Hardin-Baylor next year.
It was a complete turnaround from the day before when O'Rear parred her first 10 holes before notching a pair of birdies on holes No. 18 and 3.
"I had to keep telling myself throughout the round that par was a great score, just because I hit so many greens and left so many puts a ball short," she said. "It got a little frustrating but par is great. I'm happy with it."
Salado freshman boys medalist Dane Hankamer (76-78-154) tied for 16th.