|UC’s Stone learns top 10 lesson |
|Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 6:44 am |
| By MIKE HUTCHENS |
Messenger Sports Editor
MANCHESTER — If experience is the best teacher, Mollie Stone earned a master’s degree.
The Union City High School senior — making her third consecutive appearance in the Class A-AA State Golf Tournament — posted her best-ever round and highest finish among those trips with a Day 2 score of 79 Wednesday that propelled her to a sixth-place tie in the 55-player field.
Stone finished 26th as a sophomore and 22nd last year but used that experience gained to jump onto the upper echelon of the leaderboard behind tournament champion Sophia Schubert’s 146 score that was 15 shots better than her closest competitor at Willowbrook Golf Club.
Stone’s seven-over par total on Wednesday was nine shots better than her first day score and represented the fourth-best card submitted on the second day of the 36-hole event.
“I’m so excited,” she told The Messenger via phone on her way home from the competition Wednesday evening. “It feels great to set a goal and be able to achieve it.
“I’ve played in so many big tournaments with so many of same players who were playing in the state that I was really comfortable here this year. That experience kept me from being overwhelmed. No doubt, being here before helped me.”
Unlike on Day 1 when she double-bogeyed her first hole and shot 10-over on the back nine, Stone birdied that same first hole to build on the momentum she’d gained from shooting a 42 on her second nine holes Tuesday. She also birdied the par-5 16th hole and put an exclamation point on her scorecard before the turn by holing out for an eagle from 110 yards out on the par-4 18th for a 39.
Only a triple-bogey on the 12th hole and a double-bogey later kept Stone from threatening par.
On her second nine, she had five pars and four bogeys for a 40 and 79 for the day.
“I was so excited about holing out on No. 18 that I started crying a little bit,” Stone laughed. “ It took me a couple of holes to settle down and I bogeyed the first two holes on the front-nine, but I was able to settle down then and play really well.”
She resisted the natural temptation to look back at her Day 1 score and wish for a do-over that would’ve gotten her even closer to Christian Academy of Knoxville’s Schubert, who was a repeat champion after winning the event as a freshman two years ago.
“I can’t regret yesterday at all,” said Stone, who will sign a scholarship with NAIA Milligan College in Elizabethton in the next few months.
There, her education will continue — both in the classroom and on the golf course.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at email@example.com. Published in The Messenger 10.11.12