GIRLS GOLF: Lady Panthers mix it up in Midland
Mar 02, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
MIDLAND Permian girls golf coach Rodney Roman said his team needed a shake-up.
So he decided to bring 10 girls to the Midland Girls Invitational at the Green Tree County Club on Friday, something he hasn't done this season. Roman also figured he'd split the Lady Panthers in a way that did not exactly follow the order in which they qualified during practice rounds.
Roman's master plan had more to do with testing the girls by surrounding them with potentially unfamiliar situations against different opponents, and challenging his troops to face the course full-force in spite of it all. He said this particular two-day tournament was a prime opportunity to grow out of the experiences.
"I want them to know that it's going to take all of us to take on district. This is part of the preparation that is needed right now." Roman said. "I'm trying to get them to be able to mentally stay focused. They have to be in control of their game and not let outside influences take control."
The results after the first round depicted the shuffle.
Permian II (358) finished one stroke better than Permian I (359), while each squad had players -- McKynzie Golden and Bailee Cook -- shoot 81 on the par 71 East and West Course combo to tie for the program's low round of the day.
However, both Permians are a distant third and fourth, respectively, behind first-place Midland Lee, which totaled 319, and second-place San Angelo Central (331) -- two District 2-5A opponents -- heading into today's final round scheduled for a 9 a.m. shotgun start at Hogan Golf Course.
The 13-team field will be split into two divisions, with Friday's top seven making up Division I and the rest Division II.
Lee's Ali Cowan used six birdies to compensate for four bogeys for a 2-under-par 69 to pace the field, and said she left a few strokes out on the greens.
"It went pretty good... In these conditions, though, I'm extremely happy with what I shot," Cowan said. "Honesty, the only thing I need to work on is my putting, everything else worked out quite well. Those bogeys came from my putts."
Central's Kamryn Cummings posted a 1-under 70, Midland Christian's Christian Curnutte concluded Day 1, which started about 45 minutes late because of weather and was treated to a steady wind, in third after a 74 and defending tournament champion, Lee's Libby Thomas (77), is fourth.
"I definitely didn't play my best today," Curnutte said. "I started off pretty rough. I had a few birdies and recovered a little bit, but I didn't meet my standards today."
Permian II reached its total with scores including Golden's 81, an 83 from Sierrah Ramirez and Mackenzie Poston's 89, three players who have been a part of the Lady Panthers' "A" team this season.
"I felt pretty good. I could have done better, but I'm really pleased with what I did. I had a few putts that didn't work the way I wanted them to, but it's good," Golden, a sophomore, said of her season-low round, adding that she realized Roman's objective. "You just have to keep your head in it and stay focused on what you're doing."
Cook's 81 was the low for Permian I, which also had scores of 90 from Jillian Acklin and a pair of 94s from Meagan Jones and Brittany Roberts.
"We just need to learn how to finish. We get through that front side and then get to the back side we start to lose focus on what's going on. But that's what we are working on, is to focus for 18 holes," Roman said, adding the goal each round is to score between 320 and 330.
Odessa High, led by Reygan Rodriguez's 88, carded a 384 and will begin today's final round in second place in the six-team Division II bracket.
Lady Bronchos coach Berry Borchardt said the team is still making strides toward lower numbers ahead of the district schedule. OHS bested one 2-5A club in Abilene High on Day 1 and had Midland High and Abilene Cooper in its sights.
"We are still trying to get our numbers down to where we can compete," Borchardt said.
Abilene Wylie's Kristen Ueckert was the talk of the clubhouse as her hole-in-one on 16th, or No. 7 on the East Course, using a 9-iron to carry the water on the 114-yard, par-3 hole.
--Follow Joshua Weaver on Twitter @OAtheWeave
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