Girls Golf: Ritchie qualifies for state tourney
George Rogers Clark golfer Taylor Ritchie shot an 88 and claimed one of four individual spots to next week's state tournament. (Keith Taylorfirstname.lastname@example.org / September 25, 2012)
The George Rogers Clark junior totaled her personal best score with an 88 to lead the Lady Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in the one-day event. Ritchie simply wanted to break a 95 but did better than her own expectations, firing a 45 on the front nine and finishing the round with a 43 for her final tally. Ritchie’s previous low score was an 89, posted during a tournament in Mount Sterling earlier this year.
“I shot better than the last two times I’ve played,” said Ritchie, who missed a state tournament berth last season by two strokes. “My irons helped me out a lot. I had better shots on the back nine and didn’t get into any trouble. My goal was to shoot in the 90s, so I reached my goal — big time. My goal was a 95.”
Mason County took first-place team honors with a 353, followed by Scott County with a 366. Both teams and the next four top individual finishers — Ritchie, Maggie Miles and Holly Hart of Pendleton County and Bishop Brossart’s Jenna Dawn — earned a ticket to next week’s state tournament set for Monday-Oct. 3 at the Bowling Green Country Club.
Ritchie is the first Lady Card golfer in nine years to qualify for the state tournament. Meredith Johns advanced as an individual in 2003.
In the final team standings, Pendleton County finished in third with a 375, while Clark posted a 384. Clark coach Ann Baldwin was pleased with her team’s overall performance and likes the fact that next year’s tournament will be held at the Winchester Country Club.
“I’m extremely pleased with the way they played, Taylor, of course, especially,” she said. “They see how close they are to those first three teams and it makes them want to try a lot harder and knowing that it’s going to be at the Winchester Country Club (next year) has them really excited and a lot more motivated.”
Clark’s Caroline Browning, also a junior, posted a 97 and recorded her first eagle on No. 12, a 373-yard Par 5 on the back nine.
“It was a good feeling.” Browning said of the eagle. “I loved it.”
Browning’s eagle propelled her to 44 on the final nine holes in her second regional appearance.
“On the front nine (my game) wasn’t as good, but on the back nine, I pulled it together,” she said. “The course was tighter and I didn’t use my driver as much.”
Haleigh Snapp, a freshman making her first appearance in the tourney, had a 99. Snapp said she had problems with layout of the course but relied on her short game to overcome the obstacles.
“I liked my chipping the best,” she said. “That’s the easiest part of the game for me. I am pretty happy. I just wanted to break 100.”
Hannah Ritchie finished with a 100 and junior Taylor Humphrey rounded out Clark’s roster with a 102. Ritchie said her “drives” and “putts” were beneficial. Humphrey, daughter of George Rogers Clark boys basketball coach Scott Humphrey, said her “irons” provided a strong suite in her first appearance in the event.
“It was definitely a tough course,” she said. “It’s really long and very narrow. It wasn’t as nerve-wrecking as I thought it was going to be. It was actually OK.”
Baldwin hopes her team can build on the successful finish next year.
“They’re feeling better about themselves,” she said. “If I can get them playing all summer long and all fall as long as the weather stays pretty, and not wait until next August to start again.”