Tigers grip state tourney shot
Because on Thursday the Tigers needed a new introduc- tion to the golf course.
After surging to a five-stroke lead after the first round, the Tigers scorecard swelled on the second day and they had to hold on by their fingernails to finish second at the Region III tournament and earn Rockdale’s first state tournament trip in boys golf.
“I think it is a great thing for the golf program and overall athletic program here in Rockdale, having a state qualifying team is something that the entire athletic department can be proud of,” said Rockdale golf coach Earl Gandy.
The Tigers will join seven other teams at the University Interscho- lastic League Class 3A state golf tournament on May 13-14 at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin.
Rockdale will be in heavy company when they get there. The field includes defending state champion Gatesville as well as 2008 champion Graham.
Graham has been to the state tournament for five consecutive years.
Also in attendance will be Prosper and Wharton—both returnees from 2009—Texarkana Pleasant Grove and Fredericksburg.
Touring The Village at Panorama golf course, the Tigers barely edged out district mate and neighbor Caldwell by two strokes, 699 to 701.
Diboll, which was in fourth place after day one, came out of nowhere to capture the regional crown with a 692.
After the first round, the Tigers posted a tournament leading 336 total, five strokes ahead of Caldwell.
However, the Tigers score ballooned by 27 strokes in the second round, allowing Diboll to pass them by and giving Caldwell a fighting chance.
Of the five Rockdale golfers, only fifth man Patrick David improved his score in the second round, going from a 94 to a 90.
Every other Tiger golfer added strokes to their first round leaderboard cards.
Seniors Waylon Boyd a nd Lance Loewe added 26 strokes between them.
Boyd finished with a (80-95)— 175 and Loewe (85-96)—181.
Steady sophomore Kirk Williams was again Rockdale’s scorecard leader after firing in a (86- 87) 173.
“Honestly the way we were able to win was by posting such a good score on the first day,” said Gandy. “I just know that if the boys can put two days of play together we can go to Austin and make some noise and surprise some people.
“But we have to be able to play both days the way we are capable of. I know that it doesn’t matter how you get there, just as long as you get there.
“The boys are excited and I am looking for good things when we get there. I just want everybody to be fired up about this. I have told the boys that we are not going to be satisfied just being at the state tournament we are going there to compete and win the whole thing.”
Casey Burrough competed as a medalist and carded a (91- 93)—184.
Rockdale’s Annie Wilde also competed as a medalist and finished with a (118-112)—230.
The 1978 Rockdale girls team (Carol Naul, Valerie Schneider, Geri Ferguson, Lisa Freiling, Lynn Clayton, Belinda Holley and Jeannie Kesner), coached by the late Duane Vincent, made a trip to state and there have been several individuals in the past that have gone to Austin.
Rockdale individual totals
Kirk Williams 86-87—173
Waylon Boyd 80-95—175
Tyler Wright 85-91—176
Lance Loewe 85-96—181
Patrick David 94-90—184
Casey Burrough* 91-93—184
*Competing as a medalist
Spring Hill 707
What—UIL Class 3A State Golf
Tee Time 8 a.m,
Where—Roy Kizer Golf Course
Who—Rockdale, Diboll, Graham*,
Gatesville#, Texarkana Pleasant
Grove, Prosper*, Wharton*, Fredericksburg.
* 2009 entrant
# Defending state champion