Ever since last year’s state golf tournament, people have been penciling in the Lady Pioneers as a favorite to return to Willowbrook and compete for the title. The Warren County girls golf team made it official Monday.
The Lady Pioneers claimed their second straight Region 3-AAA championship at Harrison Bay Golf Course, shooting 151 to edge Cleveland by two strokes and punch their ticket to next week’s state tournament. Sophomore Hannah Powell led the way with a one-over 73, the lowest round shot at the event by any girl.
Brittany Myers followed with 78 to round out the Lady Pioneer score. Saylem Powell’s 84 didn’t qualify for the team score.
Coach J.W. Holt used the state tournament to push his team all year, knowing it would be the ultimate goal. With a berth on the line Monday, Warren County did just enough to advance.
“It was closer than we anticipated, but we made it. It can be one stroke or 10 strokes, just as long as you get there,” said Holt.
Hannah once again was a catalyst to advancing, just as she was last year as a freshman. For the second straight year, Hannah turned in the lowest round at the Region 3-AAA tournament to help the Lady Pioneers move on to the state tournament.
Battling windy conditions and a tough course, Hannah was able to stay right around par most of the day. Myers, a senior who has been a part of three straight District 6-AAA championship teams, was close behind as the Lady Pioneers held off Cleveland for the win.
Coach Holt was happy to see his girls battle a tough course on a windy day and come away victorious.
“The forecast had the winds at 15 mph, and it was definitely knocking down some shots and giving people trouble,” said Holt. “It’s a tough course and one we don’t play as often. Hannah had played the course a few times and Brittany played a practice round before the tournament.”
The Lady Pioneers will be much more familiar with the state tournament course.
Once again held at Willowbrook Golf Course, the state tournament will be like a home match for the Lady Pioneers.
Warren County won a tournament at the course earlier this season, prevailing over host school Coffee County.
Coach Holt feels playing right down the road should be helpful to his team.
“I believe it’s an advantage for us. We’re very comfortable with the course,” said Holt.
The Lady Raiders will be one of the opponents in this year’s tournament after winning Region 4-AAA. Rossview – a top finisher last year – and Coffee County were the only teams to shoot a lower score in the region tournament to qualify as the squads shot 146 and 150, respectively.
Warren County finished fourth in last year’s state tournament, a two-day event featuring the top eight AAA teams. The Lady Pioneers were tied for the lead after the first round of play last year.
The state tournament is set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 30 and end the next day. Warren County will get to play a practice round Monday and tee times will be assigned this weekend.