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Titans improve score 51 strokes to finish fourth in Lauren Johnson

By jhornberg
Feb. 12, 2011 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 13, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.

Victoria East golfer  Briana Reyes reacts as her ball almost drops into the hole at Colony Creek Country Club   during the second round of the  Lauren Johnson Memorial Tournament on Saturday. Reyes finished the day with an 86.

FINAL LEADERBOARDTEAMS: (1) Huntsville A 663; (2) Austin Westlake 679; (3) CC Moody 683; (4) Victoria East A 713

INDIVIDUALS: (1) Ali Cowan, VE-1 81-70 - 151; (2) Cat Hererra, HSA 78-76 - 154; (3) Claire Woolridge, AW 81-75 - 156

Victoria West finishes eighth; St. Joseph tied for fifth; East's Ali Cowan rallies to take top individual prize.

The pressure was off for Briana Reyes.

The junior for Victoria East felt she could relax a little. After all, it really couldn't go any worse than it had on Friday.

"Yesterday, I wasn't sure if I was ready for the tournament or to play in the cold," she said. "Today, I just wanted to have fun."

What a difference 24 hours makes.

As the temperature rose on Saturday, Reyes' score dropped. She finished with a second-day 86 at Colony Creek Country Club, an eight-stroke improvement.

"We didn't get to warm up as much on Friday because we were cold, we just sat in the pro shop and tried to warm up our bodies."

She said she couldn't warm up in the near freezing morning during the first day of the Lauren Johnson Memorial Classic, and as a result, it threw her off her game.

Overall, it was a much different, and pleasant, day for the Titans on the course. After woes ranging from weather to sickness ruined the opening round, Victoria East posted a second-round 331 team score, a 51-stroke improvement as a team.

Adding to the success, sophomore Ali Cowan shot a second-day 1-under 70, improving her score 11 strokes to sweep up the individual title on Saturday.

"Today was pretty good," Cowan said. "Missed a few putts I should have made, but otherwise today went as well as could be expected."

Still, the Titans know they have a lot to live up to heading into the second half of the golf season, and final stretch to the District 30-4A and Region IV-4A tournament in April.

"We're disappointed we didn't place in our own tournament, and I think it's going to change our mentality," Reyes said.

Titans coach Mike Smith said the team usually shoots between 325 and 340, and that Friday's round was out of character.

"This is the way we normally play," he said of Sunday's round. "I don't know what happened the other day. I think it was a fluke."

There were a lot factors going against the Titans during the two-day event.

The weather hurt everyone's scores on Friday, but East was playing with two sick players. Tessa Lev couldn't finish her first round after falling ill but shot a 99 the second day. There was also Jackie Gonzales, who played much of the event hurting.

Being out of contention, though, meant everyone could relax, Gonzales said.

That's no excuse for down the road, the junior golfer for East said, but it helped to know that everything wasn't on the line on Saturday.

"It was kind of a chill out day and we all lowered our scores," Gonzales said. "But we still need to improve and need more practice to get where we need to be."

Still, the goal for the Titans was to come out strong on both days, and Reyes and Gonzales said that shooting a team score approaching 400 is not acceptable for anyone.

"We need to come out strong on the first day and finish strong," Gonzales said. "We need to be stronger overall."

WEST FINISHES STRONG

Meagan Neuman wasn't happy with the way she started on Saturday. But once she settled down, she said she played well.

"I think I was too overconfident because I've played this course a thousand times before," she said. "I went out there with a strong head and didn't do as well as I could."

She said she settled down, and at about the turn was able to calm herself and shoot better for the rest of the day.

"I finally took a deep breath, and said I've played this course, and it helped," Neuman said.

The junior golfer for Victoria West shot par on the final five holes of the day to finish up seven strokes from her previous day, shooting a 97.

The Warriors had a 16-shot improvement from the previous day, led by senior Ashley Weaver, who improved on her opening round 88 with an 83 on Saturday.

COWAN FOCUSES ON THE PRIZE

Through the first four holes of the Lauren Johnson Memorial Classic, Ali Cowan was 8-over.

The sophomore was sterling for the final 32 holes, shooting even par, including a final round score that was five strokes better than any one else Saturday.

One of the big reasons for that, Smith said, was focus.

"She was focused all day to day, and she focused for most of yesterday," Smith said. "When you're 8-over, you have an opportunity to just tank it. She's a great course manager."

Lauren Johnson Memorial Classic, Hosted by Victoria East

Friday: Victoria Country Club, Par 72Saturday: Colony Creek , Par 71

WINNERS

TEAM FINISH: (1) Huntsville A 663; (2) Austin Westlake 679; (3) Corpus Christi Moody 683; (4) Victoria East A 713; (T-5) Houston St. Agnes, St. Joseph 723; (7) Round Rock McNeil 772; (8) Victoria West 796; (9) Victoria East B 889.

INDIVIDUAL FINISH: (1) Ali Cowan, VE-1 81-70 - 151; (2) Cat Hererra, HSA 78-76 - 154; (3) Claire Woolridge, AW 81-75 - 156.

PAR SCORES

AUSTIN WESTLAKE, 358-321 - 679: Christine Campbell 95-78 - 173; Jasmina Solankee 87-80 - 167; Claire Woolridge 81-75 - 156; Sumin Cha 98-88 - 186; So Yun Jhang 95-95 - 190.

CORPUS CHRISTI MOODY, 351-332 - 683: Kelsey Canales 82-79 - 161; Allison Flores 85-86 - 161; Amber Hernandez 99-80 - 179; Mariah Silvas 85-87 - 172; Brittany Rodriguez 102-89 - 191.

HOUSTON ST. AGNES, 376-347 - 723: Cat Herrera 78-76 - 154; Kara Jones 89-85 - 174; Francesca Bosco 104-88 - 192; Emily White 105-98 - 203; Lauren Steffes 121-112 - 233.

HUNTSVILLE A, 346-317 - 663: Madison Ward 83-81 - 164; Lindsey Lunceford 89-78 - 167; Courtney Tibletti 81-77 - 158; Leslie Beaird 97-87 - 184; Hannah Valentine 93-81 - 174.

HUNTSVILLE B: Jessie Oden 101-90 - 191; Tara Traux 101-99 - 200; Sarah Thompson 112-101 - 213.

VICTORIA EAST A, 382-331 - 713: Ali Cowan 81-70 - 151; Briana Reyes 94-86 - 180; Jackie Gonzales 99-88 - 187; Cassidy Hoad 108-87 - 195; Tessa Lev NC-99.

VICTORIA EAST B, 431-458 - 889: Brittany Hubbard 98-108 - 206; Lindsey Rabb 107-103 - 210; Haley Dvorak 115-132 - 247; Claire Vivian 111-115 - 226.

VICTORIA WEST, 406-390 - 796: Ashley Weaver 88-83 - 171; Morgan Park 117-98 - 215; Meagan Neuman 90-97 - 187; Malorie Gabbert 112-108 - 220, Kayla Bowland 116-102 - 218.

ST. JOSEPH, 368-355 -723: Chloe Velasco 89-84 - 173; Kaitlin Cantu 96-89 - 185; Kim Chavarria 104-92 - 196; Bethany Hickner 101-90 - 191; Maddy Buhler 82-NC.

ROUND ROCK McNEIL, 396-376 - 772: Mackenzie Steiner 87-84 - 171; Sara Goetz 94-97 - 191; Lelani van der Wait 106-92 - 198; Kiana McDaniel 109-103 - 209; Jordan Gancas 119-103 - 222.

CORPUS CHRISTI INCARNATE WORD: Jaime Bibby 83-NC; Gabby Rendon 100-99 - 199; Clair Marti 115-NC.

MEDALISTS: Keeley Coburn, Tuloso-Midway 92-82 - 174; Korey Coburn, Tuloso Midway 92-97 - 189; Tyler Sheffield, Bryan 87-85 - 172; Taylor Bona, Bryan 108-86 - 194; Taylor Rieger, Bryan 106-103 - 209; Precille Cardona, Calhoun 100-87 - 187.

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