Western Oklahoma’s biting wind and near-freezing temperatures graced the Clinton girls’ golf team with its presence for yet another time Thursday in the team’s home tournament at Riverside Golf Course.
The weather forced the 18-hole tourney to be cut in half, making it a nine-hole contest instead. Still, the Lady Reds were unfazed by the conditions, placing second overall with a score of 190. Elk City won the shortened tourney with a score of 179.
Sophomores and season-leading scorers Loren Coleman and Kaitlin Jenkin led CHS again with scores of 44 and 45 respectively. They helped push CHS to its fifth top-three finish in as many tournaments to start the season.
Clinton head golf coach Mike Lee gave all five golfers credit for shaking off the elements and putting another solid tourney together.
“Loren finished third with a 44, and Kaitlin finished fourth with a 45, both of them played well” he said. “Kaitlin has done a good job with that all year, and Loren has done the same thing. She (Loren) has gotten better. She finished tied for second and then lost on the scorecard playoff.
“I thought Kennedy (Meacham) probably didn’t play her best but hung in there and didn’t let it get away from her. I thought Harli (Heerwald) did the same thing. With her start, it could’ve been an ugly round, and she hung in there and didn’t let it get away from her, so that’s a good sign.
“Audrie (Hernandez) didn’t play as well today (Thursday) in that wind, but she didn’t let it get away from her either. Our worst score was a 53. The tough thing for us is that the front nine is tougher than the back nine. The girls played fine. We finished 11 (strokes) behind Elk (City), which is quite a bit. They’ve got a couple girls that’re really good players. It’s hard for us to make up ground on them.”
Through five tournaments this year, the team is averaging a four-player score of 391.2 and has placed in the top three in all those tournaments. This young roster continues to impress Lee. He said they’ve improved quicker than he expected at this point in the season.
Coleman and Jenkins continue to be the consistent scorers that this team can rely upon each tourney. Coleman averages a 94.6 each time she plays, while Jenkins scores right behind her with an average of 94.8.
Meacham, Hernandez and Heerwald are also gradually lowering their score numbers as well. Meacham is just below the 100-line, averaging a score of 99.8 per tourney, while Hernandez and Heerwald are averaging just a few strokes above 100 on the season.
Lee said the team just needs to keep lowering those scores in order to make state again. The Lady Reds have only two tourneys remaining on the regular season before regionals. Clinton’s head coach said if they were to do that after losing last year’s leading scorer, it’d quite the achievement.
“Hopefully, we’ll keep getting better over the next week or so,” Lee said. “On that one day, you get 18 holes, hopefully, or nine if the weather is bad. We’ve got to come out and be ready to play and play well that day.
“Their goal at the start of the year was to make state. If they get that done, that’d be a pretty good accomplishment losing Adrianna (Glance) off last year’s team.”