Jarrod Ulrey reports:
To simulate what it might be like at the Division I state girls golf tournament, Mason did a practice round from the back tees at a local course earlier in the week.
For a team that had only one player with previous experience competing on Ohio State’s Gray Course, it was a helpful avenue of preparation heading into the opening round Friday.
The Comets turned in a 323 that leaves them fifth heading into Saturday’s final round.
Massillon Jackson is first with a 309, followed by Medina Highland (311), defending champion Dublin Jerome (313) and Dublin Coffman (318).
Ursuline Academy is sixth after shooting 333.
“We played some rounds from the back tees so that we were used to playing longer,” junior Miranda Dubler said. “It does help. It’s really awesome being at state but it’s nerve-wracking. You feel like with every shot that you didn’t hit it well. But we are a really deep team with a lot of talent.”
Dubler led with a 78 and Tara Liebert, who is the only player remaining from the 2010 state championship team, turned in an 81. Junior Quinn Atkinson (80), senior Macy Hubbard (84) and sophomore Morgan Schaffer (84) also competed.
“It was a steady round,” coach Karen Binzel said. “We would have liked to go lower, but it was not an outlandish score. Quinn was 1-over on the back and there are some really good scores out there, but we’re not completely out of it.”
Oak Hills senior Mackenzie Laumann shot 77 and is eight strokes out of the lead behind Highland senior Jessica Porvasnik, who shot a state-record round of 68.
Ursuline Academy finished fourth a year ago and has back one player from that team in junior Abigail Wellens. Junior Emma Meyer shot 80 to lead the Lions, followed by senior Alicia Lang (83), Wellens (84) and senior Taylor Castle and junior Sarah Reilly (86 each).
Rainy conditions didn’t come to the area until the late afternoon, which could impact play during the final round.
“We had some good scores today,” coach Marianne Utz Sahms said. “They could all improve their scores (in the final round). We only have one player in Abigail who has been here before. Three of the five were on (junior varsity) so this is very new to them.
“Obviously (the course) is going to play a little longer tomorrow because of the wet conditions. We can definitely improve our short game.”