Smith, Rawls prepare for state tournament

Smith, Rawls prepare for state tournament
Smith, Rawls prepare for state tournament

Weakley County golf fans are hoping the recent cold snap won’t cool off a pair of hot local golfers.
Westview’s Austin Smith and Greenfield’s Haley Rawls spent Monday playing a practice round in preparation for their state tournament debuts today (Tuesday) at WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester.
The two are competing individually in the Class A-AA State Tournament — a two-day, 36-hole event. The second round will be played on Wednesday.
Greenfield golf coach David Dunlap said the WillowBrook course presents a challenge on the back nine.
“The course is pretty fair on the front, but you get on the back side and it’s super tight,” Dunlap noted after watching the practice round. “Any miss-hit, with it being so dry, everything is running out of bounds and in trouble.”
Rawls will need to be on top of her game from the start. She was scheduled to begin play on the back nine with a tee time of 9:20 a.m.
“She’s going to have to be ‘on’ the first few holes,” the Greenfield coach added.
Smith was in one of the last groups to begin state tourney play, opening on the front nine with a 10:30 start time this morning.
The long wait shouldn’t be a problem for Smith, according to WHS golf coach Chad Johnson.
“He’s level-headed. He’s not an emotional player,” Johnson said. “He’s played in some real big tournaments this summer. He’s proud to be here, but he’s not over-thinking it.”
In addition to the dry conditions, the course is also a bit longer than most the pair have played during the season and fairly flat.
“It’s probably a little bit longer than what they’re used to. The Par 5s are pretty long. It’s quite a bit longer than Dyersburg,” Dunlap said.
Weather conditions were also a problem Monday.
“With it being so cold, it took them a while just to get warm, and the wind was blowing super hard,” Dunlap commented.

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