Other than a different course and some poor golf weather, Monday’s girls’ golf regional at Wichita’s Clapp Golf Course shook out much the same way it did last year.
Washburn Rural won with a 322, winning what boiled down to a two-team race against Manhattan, which finished nine strokes back with a 331. Neither team was in much danger of missing out on advancing to state, as the third qualifier, Lawrence Free State, finished 29 strokes behind the Indians with a 360.
The Indians qualified for Monday’s Class 6A state tournament in Garden City at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
Playing in a steady rain and gusty winds all day, the Indians got another strong performance from Kylie McCarthy, who shot a 76 to take second place behind Rural’s Haley Flory.
“Kylie played her usual solid, consistent round and was in contention for the gold medal,” Manhattan coach Chris George said. “She never had anything higher than a double and countered that with a couple of birdies. She just came up one stroke short.”
Kelsey McCarthy shot an 82 to take fourth, with Hannah Devane taking ninth with an 86. Anna Jackson shot an 87, Amy Levin a 104 and Cassidy Harper a 110.
Kelsey’s score was especially good considering she had a 10 on her scorecard.
“It’s a par-5 that has a creek that winds in and out and crosses the fairway in three places,” George said. “Placing your shot in the right place was something our whole team had trouble with today. In our practice round yesterday we mapped out a strategy for each girl that was supposed to minimize the difficulty of the hole. We just didn’t execute our plan today.”
George said most of the players on Monday struggled with the hole.
“I think as a team we had a 10, two eights, and three sevens,” George said. “That hole probably cost us a better shot at the regional championship, but that’s golf. I don’t think there were many pars on that hole today by any of the teams.”
George said he saw improvement in his team since last week.
“I was proud of all the girls,” he said. “Hannah, Anna, Amy and Cassidy all battled through the day and their short game improved over last week. I saw some nice chips come out of heavy wet grass and that was nice to see.”