KYLE — At state, every shot is magnified.
The 12 best teams in Texas converged Monday at Plum Creek Golf Course, and Class 4A’s elite players battled for the chance to emerge with gold medals around their necks.
Lampasas concluded the opening round situated second behind eight-time defending state champion Andrews, and while it is difficult to complain about the position, Lady Badgers head coach Justin Schulze admits there is virtually no room for error on such a grand stage.
“We did a lot of things well,” he said, “but when we made a mistake, it turned out to be a big mistake, and in team golf, it doesn’t take much for one mistake by each kid to add up very, very quickly on the scoreboard.
“But you have to learn from it and move on. The great thing about a two-day tournament is you have another chance to come out and move up the leaderboard, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
And every stroke will be critical in today’s final round.
Along with attempting to gain ground on first-place Andrews (319), Lampasas must hold off a pack of teams looking claim their spot.
Led by sophomore Lee Ann Parker, who is tied for 14th with an 83, the Lady Badgers (340) are in a pack of six teams within 10 strokes of each other, including Salado, which is tied for fifth.
For Lady Eagles senior Avery Hyer, it is a favorable scenario.
“We’re in a really good position to make a run at a medal,” she said, “If we just progress in a few areas, we have a really good chance of ending up in a good spot.”
Salado shot a 349 behind sophomore Maddy Bourland’s 83, and the score was complemented by junior Taylor Rich, who sat one stroke back with an 84. Averie Piatt (91) and Hyer (91) rounded out the Lady Eagles’ scoring, while sophomore teammate Priscilla Torczynski posted a 92 in her first appearance at state.
While every player has room for improvement, Salado head coach Scott Ringo believes today’s performances from Piatt, Hyer and Torczynski will critical to the team’s success.
“The No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 players really control the outcome,” he said. “They hold the key to everything.”
All of Lampasas’ players finished within five strokes of each other.
Kristen Richards, a junior, is tied with Rich for 17th, shooting an 84, while freshman Shaylee Wolfe (86), sophomore Kinsley Lindeman (87) and junior Sara Olson (88) completed the team’s rounds.
With so many teams within striking distance of a medal, however, eliminating all distractions will be key, according to Rich.
“If you’re thinking too much or doubting yourself,” she said, “then you’re not helping yourself at all.
“So, I just need to remember to think good thoughts, because golf is a mental game.”
Region III-4A bronze medalist Gatesville enters the final round in ninth place after shooting a 371 behind senior Kaylan Summers’ 85, situating her 22nd individually.
Atira Crouch (92), McKenna McLaughlin (92) and Tatum Bashan (102) completed the Hornets’ round, while freshman Hailey Luensmann’s score of 126 did not count toward the team total.
Although 25 strokes separate Gatesville from a medal in its second consecutive appearance at state, Hornets head coach Guy Dean is not concerned with the standings.
“The main thing is to come out and improve from our first round,” he said. “You don’t play any defense in this game, and all we can control is ourselves, so we’re just trying to be better golfers tomorrow than we were today.”
Carrollton Ranchview’s Bohyun Park, who won the 4A individual title by 13 shots last year as a freshman, opened with a 62 and takes a 12-shot lead into today’s final round.
4A GIRLS STATE GOLF TEAM LEADERS
- 1. Andrews 319
- 2. Lampasas 340
- 3. Midlothian Heritage 346
- 4. Argyle 347
- T5. Melissa 349
- T5. Salado 349
- 7. Monahans 350
- 8. Hardin-Jefferson 363
- 9. Gatesville 371
- 10. Caddo Mills 374
Today’s final round begins at 8 a.m. on the first and 10th tees at Kyle’s Plum Creek GC.