• September 22, 2019

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Area golfers in the race for state after rainy opening round - Odessa American: Sports

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Area golfers in the race for state after rainy opening round

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:54 pm

It took some time to get things sorted out but in the end, a number of local golfers find themselves in the mix after the first round at the Region I-2A Championships Wednesday at Ratliff Ranch Golf Links.

The McCamey girls golf team sits in third place with a team total of 398 while Vega leads the team standings after shooting an opening round 346. Stratford is second at 357 and Haskell is one shot back behind the Lady Badgers with a total of 399.

 “We’ve come a really long way as a team and it feels really good to be in this position,” McCamey junior Schuyler Hazelwood said. “We’ve worked hard for this and it continues to show.”

For the medalists, Annika Corralez of Van Horn shot an opening round 80 to put her in second place overall behind Katelin Berry of Stratford, who shot 76.

The top three teams and the top three individuals not on those teams advance to the state tournament, held May 13-14 at Roy Kizer Golf Club in Austin.

“My short game was good and all my irons were pretty solid today,” Corralez said. “I struggled with the driver a little bit today but my iron play made things a lot easier for me.”

Due to an overnight thunderstorm and rainy conditions in the morning, the start of the tournament was delayed by more than four hours.

When play did get underway, the opening round turned into a shotgun start for all 74 golfers as opposed to previously scheduled tee times in order to get 18 holes in for everyone.

There will be tee times for the final round starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

“I have three seniors on the team and they’ve been here before,” Vega head coach Tiffi West said. “They just played with a sense of calm and that carried over from the moment we drive through the gates. I believe in these kids that they can get it done for two days.”

With the first round over, the focus turns to who can handle the pressure of the final round with a state berth on the line.

For Vega, the Lady Longhorns look to finish the job of capturing a regional title and punching a return trip to Austin for the second straight year.

“The biggest key for us is to stay calm and focus on ourselves,” Vega senior Allie Joyce said. “We just have to stay focused on the ultimate goal and not be too focused on everything else.”

For Corralez, she’s also looking for redemption after finishing one place out of making it to the state tournament.

 “I just don’t want to focus on counting my strokes,” Corralez said. “I did that the last time and I don’t want to do that to myself again. I just need to take it one shot at a time.”

As for McCamey, the team knows that it’s still a close race for that coveted last spot andthat everyone will have to be at their best.

“Golf is very much a mental sport,” Hazelwood said. “Staying positive and staying within ourselves helped a lot.

“We build each other up and there is definitely a drive for us to go to state. All of us can do it and we just need to bring our best tomorrow.”

>> OTHER LOCAL RESULTS: The Iraan girls golf team is ninth place after shooting an opening round 444. Madison Salinas was the low Bravette on the day, shooting a 100.

In the medalist category, Ashlee Blackburn of Wink opened the regional tournament with a 102.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

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