The Ada High girls golf team saved one of their best rounds of the year for last at the Class 4A Regional held Tuesday at Seminole’s Jimmy Austin Golf Course.
But despite putting their best foot forward, the Lady Cougars came up just short of a return trip to the 4A State Tournament.
Ada finished with a team score of 404, the second best total of the spring and finished fifth in the team standings. The top three teams qualify for state. Host Seminole ran away with the regional championship with a score of 368. Anadarko was next at 376 while Tuttle was the final state qualifier at 383. Harrah finished in the fourth spot at 390.
“This year’s Seminole Regional was much tougher than last year. Our 404 team total on Tuesday was actually 15 strokes better than last year, but with tougher competition we finished fifth rather than third,” said Ada girls golf coach Ron Anderson. “I felt Anadarko was the favorite going into the Regional, but Seminole obviously had the edge over them and everyone else competing on their home course. We knew going in we would have to play our very best. I felt Tuttle, Harrah and Newcastle would be our competition for that third spot and that was indeed the case.”
The top three individuals whose team did not qualify for state also advance to the big show and Ada’s Elisah Canfield just missed out with a 98. Harrah’s Jamie Bolden and Pauls Valley’s Desa Brewer qualified for state with identical 93 scores.
Olivia Pruitt was next for Ada with a 100 while Mary Kathryn Lowry scored a 102 and both Natalie Lowry and Breanna Stone finished at 104.
“Elisah and Olivia were just a few breaks from qualifying for state as individuals. I know both of them are disappointed for the team, but also disappointed they didn’t play to their capabilities,” Anderson said. “I am so proud of Mary Kathryn, Natalie and Breanna. They saved their best for last. They reminded me of Elisah and Olivia last season. They improved with every outing.”
The Lady Cougars won’t lose a single player to graduation and this year’s experience should pay dividends next spring.
“This was a great season. Because we appeared in the state tournament last year, I put a lot of pressure on the team and especially Mary Kathryn, Natalie and Breanna. I would sometimes forget they had only been playing for a few months. They did a great job,” Anderson said. “As I have said many times, you can’t coach experience. It’s very difficult to be competitive in any sport — and particularly golf — playing only two months. I will emphasize to the girls in our exit meeting that they must keep up on their golf skills throughout the summer and into fall of next year. I know the girls are already looking forward to next season.”