Austin Swing: McDaniel wins playoff to qualify for state

From Staff Reports

April 25, 2007 - DENTON - The pressure of a one-hole playoff in golf can make someone blossom or wither.

Whitney McDaniel came out smelling like a rose on Wednesday.

McDaniel, a Sulphur Springs senior, and Copperas Cove's Laura Tatum locked up in a playoff duel that went three holes to see which of them would advance to the state golf tournament.

After they each parred the first hole at Robson Ranch twice, Tatum three-putted on their third round and had to settle for a bogey, while McDaniel sank another par putt to send her to the UIL Class 4A state tournament in Austin.

The two golfers had tied for fourth place individually after the first round of the Region II tournament on Monday at Fort Worth's Doral Tesoro Golf Club. Severe weather canceled the second day's round, meaning the first round was the only one that counted.

Under UIL rules, the first two teams and first two individuals not on those teams advance to the state tournament. Because the first two individual girls both were on the Highland Park Gold squad that won the tournament easily, then the third place finisher (Carly Dear of Red Oak) and the fourth-place finisher would advance.

Since McDaniel and Tatum both tied with a score of 78 on Monday, they had to have a playoff.

"It was a lot of pressure," said SSHS coach Rahn Smith. "Both girls played very well under that pressure."

They played hole No. 1 all three times. Both girls parred the first round, then on the second hole, Tatum had a chance to win, but Smith said her birdie putt went into the hole, then came out.

The next time, she three-putted.

McDaniel, the district individual champion, will advance to play in the state tournament May 7-8 at the Roy Kizer Golf Course in southeast Austin.

Boys

The second round for the boys regional tournament was also rained out on Tuesday while golfers were on the course, meaning the scores from the first round were final.

SSHS senior Dustin Gideon, who shot a 5-over par 77 on Monday, was 3-over after 16 holes on the second round, and was in position for a birdie on No. 17, when the tournament was canceled.

"I was proud of him. He played really hard," said SSHS coach Doug Evans. "Dustin was really focused the whole time. He was having a great day yesterday.

"He would have moved up in the standings. He had a great chance to finish 2-over. That would have made him feel better."

Gideon finished tied for 30th in the individual standings, the third consecutive year he has been in the top 30.

"He didn't play bad on Monday, he just had a few bad holes," Evans said. " Part of that was the conditions. The fairways were really sloped and you never knew where the balls would end up. He had some bad lies, that were just the way the ball bounces. It wasn't so much what he did, it was just circumstances."

District 11-4A competitor Texas High won the regional tournament with a 285, edging out Highland Park by one stroke.

Highland Park's Cody Gribble was the low scorer on Monday, shooting a 7-under 65. Cabe Prieskorn of Texas High was the individual runner-up with a 59.

"It was a good tournament. It was extremely competitive," Evans explained. "Our region is the toughest in the state by far, really in any classification.

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