Manhattan girls’ golf coach Chris George knew it would take a special effort to catch Washburn Rural in the team standings at the Class 6A state golf tournament in Garden City.
In the end, the Junior Blues ran away from everybody Monday, shooting a 339 to win by 14 strokes. Manhattan finished in fifth place in the team standings, shooting a 372 on a day when the combination of several small mistakes bogged down the Indians’ team score.
“Teamwise, there wasn’t any one thing that kept us out of the title race today, just a combination of lots of little things,” George said. “We had too many shots, from all distances, that landed in a heavy rough that caused the scores being higher than our season average.”
Maize took second place with a 353 and Garden City was right behind with a 355. Shawnee Mission East took fourth with a 361.
The weather in Garden City was about as favorable as could be expected, with fair skies and just a slight wind for the golfers to deal with.
Individually, Kylie McCarthy led the way, shooting an 86 and taking the ninth-place medal after a one-hole playoff. Hannah Devane also medaled, shooting an 88 to tie for 15th place. Kelsey McCarthy shot a 97, Anna Jackson shot a 101, Amy Levin shot a 102 and Cassidy Harper shot a 106 to round out the scoring.
“Kylie had a good day after a sluggish start,” George said. “She got an eight on number one, but came back with a par and a birdie and settled into a pretty solid round after that. Hannah played consistent and didn’t have any blow up holes which was our team’s goal.”
George said the pressure of competing amongst the state’s best may have gotten the best of his team.
“Also, just being the state tournament and the nervousness that goes with it caused some problems for us and many of the other teams,” he said. “I know that our girls are disappointed, but they had a good year and did a lot of good things. They never quit today and I’m proud of them for that.”