For the second consecutive tournament, Hebron girls golfer Jennie Park was forced to compete in a playoff.
This time, however, the senior knew she would be moving on regardless of the result.
After winning a playoff at district to advance to regionals as an individual, Park — a TCU signee — battled Arlington Martin’s Trinity King for top honors at the Class 6A Region I Championships at Grand Prairie’s Tangle Ridge Golf Club before ultimately falling to the fellow future Horned Frog on the second hole.
Still, by virtue of her second-place finish, Park is bound for state (May 13-14 at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown) and becomes the first Lewisville ISD girls golfer to advance to Georgetown in four consecutive years.
“It’s an incredible feat,” said Terie Campbell, Hebron head coach. “I’m really going to miss that kid, and I’m just excited that I get to have two more rounds with her.”
Park posted rounds of 72 and 71 (143) to finish in a tie for first with King.
“I know she was a little bummed, because it was on her bucket list to win a regional title,” Campbell said. “But Trinity made a great birdie putt on the last hole to force a playoff, and then she hit like a 55-footer for birdie in the playoff, and Jennie wasn’t able to make her birdie putt.
“They both had some chances throughout the day that could have made the difference, but they both played very well, and it was fun to see two future teammates battling.”
While Park is making the trek to Georgetown for the fourth time, Flower Mound’s girls team is bound for state for the first time in program history after tying for second (618) in the team standings with Trophy Club Byron Nelson behind champion Southlake Carroll (596).
“They played fantastic,” said Darren Bailey, Flower Mound head coach. “We knew we were in a good position late. It was just a matter of finishing strong. They did that, and it’s the thrill of a lifetime for them.”
Lauren Christl was Flower Mound’s top finisher in a tie for fifth (76-70—146) and was followed by Kate Dishman in a tie for 16th (78-77—155), Piper Frisbie (76-83—159) and Ally Barth (80-79—159) in a tie for 20th and Brooke Dishman in a tie for 26th (81-82—163).
“All season long, we’ve had one player pick up the slack if another one has had an off day, and that’s what they did again,” Bailey said. “Lauren had a great two rounds, and she’s probably the biggest reason this week why we made it.”
While Flower Mound is moving on, fellow 6-6A foe Coppell fell just shy in fourth (628).
The Cowgirls were paced by Lauren Rios in a tie for fifth (75-71). Rios fell two shots shy of qualifying individually.
Rounding out Coppell’s golfers on the course were Chelsea Romas in 15th (75-79—154), Mia Gaboriau in a tie for 23rd (81-79—160), Miyoko Tan in a tie for 32nd (84-84—168) and Jamie Welsh in 41st (85-86—171).
And while the Cowgirls won’t be heading south next month, they can take solace in the fact the team qualified for regionals and finished in the top five with a roster void of any upperclassmen.
“We started off really well but we knew going into the second day that we would have to make up five strokes,” said Jab Borg, Coppell head coach. “We’re really young (two sophomores and three freshmen), and I don’t care what anyone says, that pressure can get to you a bit, especially with our age. We still were able to play a little better, but everyone played a little bit better on the second day.
“To go to state would have been huge, so we’re obviously disappointed, but we’re also excited. Just getting out of district and the experience they gained playing at regionals was big for a group of girls that are very hungry and motivated.”
Also in action in Grand Prairie was 6-6A individual champion Symran Shah of Hebron, who finished in a tie for 12th (78-73—151).
“Symran has played in so many high-ranking tournaments in her career,” Campbell said. “I don’t know if the high school stage maybe just gave her some nerves for some reason, but she just got off to a rough start and couldn’t really recover.”
Park and Flower Mound, meanwhile, now gear up for chances at state medals.
“Our goal is to medal, and we definitely think we should be in the top five,” Bailey said. “We’ve yet to have all five play their best rounds on the same day. If we can do that, we’ll post a pretty low score and should be in contention.”