The road towards perhaps another trip to the state tournament for Magnolia got off to a great start.
The Lady Bulldogs, which finished third in Class 5A a year ago, dominated the District 20-5A tournament at The Golf Club at La Torretta with a first-place finish at 636 (318-318) on Wednesday.
The nearest competitor was Willis, also a state qualifier for the first time in four years, at 733 (370-363).
Halle Whitney, last year's individual state champion, earned the gold medal with a 12-over par 154 (79-75). She was followed closely by teammates Emma Messenger at 155 (75-80) and Brandee Fleming at 159 (82-77), who earned silver and bronze respectively.
Whitney, a sophomore, was proud of her team's performance in winning their fourth consecutive district title as a program.
"That's awesome," she said. "I love my team and playing with them."
The individual qualifiers for District 20-5A were Jasmine Sevilla McHargue of Huntsville (4th place, 164) and Smitha Bhagavatula of Bridgeland (8th place, 177).
Whitney, who came into the day four shots behind her teammate Messenger, played the front-9 even on Wednesday.
On No. 12, she triple-bogeyed and followed with a bogey on 13. After a par on No. 14, she earned two straight birdies before a double-bogey on 17.
The round was a four-shot improvement on Monday.
"I definitely played better today," Whitney said. "I just gained a couple strokes on two holes really.
I was hitting my putts a lot more pure."
Magnolia coach Jim Bob Jackson agreed that it was a better day for Whitney.
"She didn't have a good day (in the first round)," Jackson said. "Her experience in high school golf and AJGA and stuff really helped her out. She's been that way all year. It helped her out a lot."
Rounding out Magnolia was Regan Allen in sixth place at 174 (88-86). Kaydee Lowe was seventh at 176 (82-94).
For the Willis Ladykats, it's a return as a team for the first time in four years.
"We haven't been out since then," Willis coach Les Peacock, who coaches alongside Nick Ladd, said. "We've had a couple individuals get out. But the team hasn't gotten out since 2014."
Willis was led by junior Kendall Wall who finished fifth at 169 (83-86).
Sophomore Sloane Veronico improved in the second round and was 11th place with a 183 (96-87).
"We've had some underclassmen step up this year and help out the team," Peacock said. "They've done really well this year working together. Last year we didn't have a real strong underclass.
We've got three seniors, a junior and a sophomore (now). Our sophomore and junior really helped out this year."
Senior Hannah Green finished tied for 14th at 189 (97-92). Senior Jessica Riddle was 19th at 194 (94-100). Also for Willis, senior Chloe York was tied for 20th at 195 (97-98).
"We knew we a small chance (at advancing to regional)," Peacock said. "But we still knew we had to perform. There was a little bit of ambiguity there. We didn't know exactly where we would be.
After the first day, we were leading by six (strokes). Today, we told the girls that they needed to turn it on and they did."
Magnolia West finished third place, 20 strokes behind Wil... Click here to read full article