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Heading to state
Slatton wins region tournament, qualifies for state in Sevierville
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Lauren Slatton will be heading to her third straight state tournament after winning the Region 4AA tournament held in Cookeville Monday.
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Photo provided Lauren Slatton was all smiles after getting her medal at Monday's region tournament. Slatton shot 1-under to win the event.

The TSSAA might as well start reserving a spot in the state tournament for Lauren Slatton. The talented Lady Pioneer golfer has made the field every year while playing for Warren County.

Slatton earned her bid to next week’s state tournament by winning the Region 4AA tournament Monday at Golden Eagle Golf Club. Slatton shot a 1-under, 69, pacing the field of top golfers in Cookeville. 

It was the second time Slatton, a junior, has won a region championship in her career. She is also a three-time district champion, leaving only one more title to claim to complete a prestigious career. She’ll get her third chance next Thursday and Friday, Oct. 6-7 at Sevierville Golf Club.

Slatton, who shot an outstanding 5-under, 65 to win the District 7AA title at the same course last week, credited one club for helping her claim back-to-back championships in Cookeville.

“I wasn’t hitting it particularly well and what really saved me was my putter,” said Slatton. “I was making par saves, birdie putts and getting very long putts close.”

Slatton was able to hold off Cookeville’s Daniella Pryor, who shot 71 on her home course. Pryor and Lexus Julian (78), paired to lead Cookeville to the Region 4AA team championship.

Playing against some of the best in the Midstate, Slatton was unfazed in Cookeville. She had three birdies throughout the match and controlled her emotions, showing a confident stroke on the greens and enough moxie off the tee and in the fairways to excel.

She was exuding confidence from the first shot, propelled by the knowledge that she could go low on the course that has challenged all players in the district and region tournament.

“I didn’t really feel that nervous this time, which is weird because I normally am,” said Slatton about her feelings entering play. “I think I gained a lot of conference from how I played (the course) in districts.”

For coach JW Holt, it was no surprise to see Slatton punch her ticket to the state tournament again. He knows she will not be outworked on the course and is meticulous in her attention to detail when it comes to getting ready to play.

“With the amount of work and preparation Lauren puts in, you just have that feeling she will be in the state tournament every year,” said coach Holt. “Going into Monday, she had played 72 holes of golf in three days. She knows what it takes to be at an elite level.”

Slatton will now set her focus on Sevierville, where she placed sixth in the state at last year’s event. Slatton was in the mix on the second day, only to be derailed by a two-hole stretch where she was 4-over. 

The junior plans to play Sevierville’s course twice before she tees off next Thursday. Make sure to check the Standard next week for more details on when Slatton will be taking the course in the TSSAA state tournament.