|SF’s Pane takes third seat with Mayfield, UC’s Stone |
|Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:06 am |
By MIKE HUTCHENS
McKenzee Pane of South Fulton, SF’s Chase Mayfield and Mollie Stone of Union City qualified for the Class A-AA State Tournament
Messenger Sports Editor
Chase Mayfield and Mollie Stone have another passenger for the ultimate prep golf tournament ride.
Sophomore McKenzee Pane will join South Fulton teammate Mayfield and Union City’s Stone for a trip to the Class A-AA state tourney next week at the WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester.
All three local linksters qualified for the chance to chase the top individual prize with solid showings in the Region 7A-AA Tournament Tuesday on a soggy track at Milan Golf and Country Club.
And while both Mayfield and Stone will be making return treks to the state event, Pane will be new to the scenery.
“Actually, from looking at the scores, I thought McKenziee would have a chance to make it,” SF head coach Leah McFarland said after Tuesday’s play. “Even though she’s just a sophomore, she’s held her own most of the year and hasn’t been overwhelmed. I’m excited and happy for her.”
Pane shot a 95 (51-44) to finish among the top four individual scores that did not include the totals from region champion Milan.
She was part of a South Fulton team that finished as runnerup to Milan after winning the District 14A-AA event last week at The Farms in Dyersburg.
Teammates Sydney Easterwood (104) and Sierra Coley (128) — both freshmen — also gained valuable tourney experience for the Devilettes.
Mayfield, who’ll be making his third successive state tournament trip, hopes to use the experience gained from the last two years when he placed 37th as a sophomore and then seventh last fall when he was just two shots off the lead after the first day to challenge for the top spot in the two-day, 36-hole event that will begin on Tuesday.
The slender Red Devil senior with a pretty swing shot a 79 on Tuesday to qualify for this year’s event as one of the top four regional scores not from tournament champion Milan. He was also a medalist in the tourney.
“Chase, we sort of expected him to get back (to state) again, and he didn’t disappoint,” McFarland added. “He won’t be fazed by anything now because he’s been to this level. He’ll be really focused next week, I believe.”
As a team in the boys’ competition, SF placed fourth behind the host Bulldogs, Dyersburg and Camden and ahead of McKenzie and South Gibson. Eighth-grader David Kent Brundige was not overwhelmed by the surroundings and shot an 88 for the Devils, Hunter Hutchens finished with a 96 and Easten Woolf a 99. Nick Daughtery came in with an even 100.
Stone, who has made gigantic strides in her overall game as evidenced by a runaway victory for the individual championship of the District 14A-AA Tournament when she shot a 78 at The Farms, will return to a venue where she finished 26th in a 52-player state field as a sophomore in 2010.
The Lady Tornado junior shot an 89 on a soaked course Tuesday that reportedly had as much as five inches of rain over the previous two days.
Stone’s 45-44 scorecard trailed Haley Rawls of Greenfield by a single shot and bettered Pane by six strokes.
Both Stone and Rawls were medalists in the event as well.
Head coach Jason Qualls, who was tending to his wife who had hip surgery the day before and unable to be at the match, was nonetheless proud of Stone and adamant that’d he’d be back with his player come next week’s state tournament.
“Yesterday was brutal,” Qualls said this morning. “I kept getting text messages from Mollie’s mom (Susan) while I was at the hospital, telling me how she was doing. One time, I just had to get up. It was very nerve-racking on my end and, even though there’s nothing I can really do anyway, I really felt helpless.
“I’m so pleased that she’s earned her way back to the state. And she really has with all the work she’s put in on her own and during the offseason.”
A handful of other local players also competed in the regional event on Tuesday.
Union City’s Josh McManus shot 87 (43-44) to finish up his solid senior campaign for the Tornadoes.
The Obion Central girls placed five among six teams with Ashlyn Runions shooting 57-52 (109) and Samantha Wallace 60-65 (135) for a team total of 244.
UC’s Madison Baldwin came in with a 194.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. Published in The Messenger 9.21.11