When the opening group departs the first tee at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown at 8 a.m. Monday, the girls Class 6A state golf tournament – and Plano West’s quest for the Lady Wolves’ first team title – will be underway.
Aided by a trio of newcomers in Michelle Zhang, Ashley Liu and Melena Barrientos that has mixed well with returners Ellie Roth and Ale Toyos, the Lady Wolves have cut a swath through the 6A postseason.
The program earned both the team and individual championships at the District 9-6A tournament, as Zhang earned gold with a 9-under 135 and the Lady Wolves’ two-day total of 566 bested runner-up McKinney Boyd by 29 strokes.
It was more of the same at a one-day, rain-shortened Region II-6A event, as the Lady Wolves’ 295 saw them lift another trophy.
While the field at Legacy Hills will be the deepest thus far, West head coach Rick Hardison said his 2019 group has what it takes to contend for the title.
“As we prepare to play in the state tournament, we have very high expectations. Throughout the year, we have proven that we can play with anyone,” he said. “I believe our team has what it takes to win state, but the competition will be very tough, and we will have to play well in order to win.”
To make good on that potential, though, Hardison knows that his athletes will have to stay in the moment.
“I think the most important factors in turning in their best effort are to play their game, stay positive and play one shot at a time – [to] not dwell on the past or get ahead of yourself,” he said. “We will come up with a game plan on how to best manage the course [and learn] which holes to attack and which holes to play it safe. If we play smart, I like our chances.”
Boyd back at it
The Boyd girls golf team will make another trip to the state tournament, as the Lady Broncos fired a third-place 320 in Region II-6A action to land a bid to the season’s final event.
Elli Gordon led the way for Boyd, carding the only sub-80 score in the one-day event by shooting a 75. Still, no recorded score was above an 82 for the team, as the group’s consistency vaulted them over challenges from Austin Vandegrift’s silver team (326) and Klein Oak (327).
The Lady Broncos also played well at the 9-6A tournament, finishing one spot behind first-place West and getting what head coach Denise Hachtel said was a two-day record for her group at 585.
For the second straight season, a Winans will hit the links at state.
Plano East alum Libby Winans, now at the University of Oklahoma, swept through the 6A postseason and earned the program’s first state title, carding a two-day score of 135 to take gold as a senior.
Now, sophomore Meagan Winans will look to follow in her big sister’s footsteps.
Meagan Winans qualified for the Region II-6A event with a score of 138 at the 9-6A championship, then followed that performance up with a 1-under 71 at the shortened Region II-6A tourney to finish in third place after a playoff with West’s Liu and earn her state appearance.
Other individual qualifiers in Star Local Media’s coverage area include Hebron’s Jennie Park and Prosper’s Haili Moore on the girls side and Flower Mound’s Andrew Zobel and West’s Matt Comegys on the boys.
Lewisville ISD squads head for state
The Flower Mound girls team and Hebron boys team will round out the 6A state participants from Star Local Media’s coverage area, with the Lady Jaguars and Hawks each making their first appearance at the 6A event.
Flower Mound shared runner-up honors to Southlake Carroll with Trophy Club Byron Nelson, carding a two-day total of 618 to become the first group in school history to advance to state. The Lady Jaguars got impressive regional performances from Lauren Christl (fifth, 146) and Kate Dishman (16th, 155).
While Hebron’s boys team had advanced to state at a lower classification more than a decade ago, the Hawks will take part in the 6A event for the first time ever after taking the Region I-6A championship.
The Hawks tallied a final score of 577, overcoming a first-round deficit and taking down runner-up Carroll by six strokes.
Jun Park completed the regional sweep for the Hawks, topping the individual podium after a two-hole playoff with Byron Nelson’s David Harrison.
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