Devilette duo already planning return trip

Devilette duo already planning return trip
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
MANCHESTER — Almost immediately after McKenzee Pane and Sydney Easterwood finished play in the Class A-AA State Golf Tournament, they began making plans on how to return there next year.
The South Fulton duo left the Willowbrook Golf Club with something to build on Wednesday after competing in the 36-hole event.
Pane, who was making her second appearance in the event, improved her score 20 strokes from last year, shooting a two-day total of 192 after carding a 97 Wednesday to follow up a 95 in Tuesday’s play. She placed 37th in the 55-player field, nine spots ahead of her finish a year ago when she qualified as a sophomore.
Easterwood, in her debut at the highest prep level as a sophomore, improved by 13 strokes over her first-day showing, shooting a 96 Wednesday after carding a 109 on Tuesday. Her two-day total (205) was good for 48th place.
Both Pane and Easterwood were well back of now two-time tournament champion Sophia Schubert of CAK (146), though each is well-aware there is improvement to be made in their respective games
“I know what I need to do to get back here and what I need to work on most and that’s distance off the tee and in the fairway,” Pane said of her performance. “I really hit the ball a lot better today (Wednesday) than I did on Tuesday, I just couldn’t get my putts to fall. I barely missed several. I’ve gotta get my putting better.
“To improve by 20 strokes over last year is obviously good. I tried to keep myself calm this year, and I wasn’t as nervous.”
Easterwood, who has the length to compete at the top level, was both excited and relieved to play better on Day 2 than on Day 1.
“A little bit of both,” she laughed, when asked if she was more proud of her improved play or frustrated that she had struggled on Tuesday. “I’m really glad to have played well today (Wednesday) and that gives me confidence I can get better.
“I know I need to work on my short game and getting out of the sand. There’s so much sand here on the back nine, and I need to work on keeping my drives in play. My putting was better than on the first day… I kept telling myself, ‘You can do this, you can do this…’”
Obviously, both Easterwood and Pane would like to “do this” again.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 10.11.12

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