Rawls, Smith can’t conquer course at state

Rawls, Smith can’t conquer course at state
Rawls, Smith can’t conquer course at state

Making their state tournament debuts, Weakley County golfers Haley Rawls and Austin Smith were unable to tame the course at WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester.
Competing Tuesday and Wednesday in the Class A-AA State Tournament, Smith, a senior at Westview High School, finished in a tie for 20th with a score of 76-84-160. Rawls, a junior at Greenfield, ended the tournament in a tie for 26th with a 94-92-186.
“She (Rawls) got a lot of valuable experience. She’s ready to start back to work and get better. She’s determined to get back up here,” Greenfield golf coach David Dunlap said.
“I’m proud of Austin. Not many make it up there. He didn’t have a good day today, but it was a good way to end his senior year,” WHS golf coach Chad Johnson said of Smith.
While the wind that played havoc during the practice round Monday wasn’t as breezy Tuesday, the start of the opening round was delayed 30 minutes due to frost. Play was slow both days, with some groups taking seven hours to finish the 18 holes.
“It’s especially tough when you have to wait (at holes). That just drains you,” Johnson said of the mental stress of playing lengthy rounds.
Smith was in a tie for 10th with a 4-over-par 76 after the first round on Tuesday. He was very consistent with a 2-over-par 38 on both the front nine and the back nine in the round. He had four birdies and parred nine holes. Smith bogeyed two holes and double-bogeyed three holes to complete his round of 76.
Rawls closed out the first day in a tie for 33rd with a 95. Starting on the back nine, the Lady Jacket was 14-over-par on her first nine holes with two pars in that span. On the front nine, Rawls picked up two pars and was nine strokes over par.
On the second day, Smith was unable to take strokes off his total, completing the 18 holes without a birdie. He parred seven holes, but was over par on the other 11.
Rawls rose in the ranks with her second round thanks to a good start on the back side. She parred five of the nine holes. Her 42 there was eight strokes better than on Tuesday. Rawls carded a 49 on the front nine for a 92.
“She actually played really well on the back nine. She only had two bad swings, but they led to double bogeys. She was a lot more at ease starting out,” Dunlap said.

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