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East's Hoad at home on the greens

By BY JOHN HORNBERG - JHORNBERG@VICAD.COM
Feb. 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.

Victoria East senior Cassidy Hoad chips the ball during Saturday's round of the Lauren Johnson Memorial at the Club at Colony Creek.

Golf

Cassidy Hoad doesn't panic when her ball reaches the green.

This is where the Victoria East senior feels she is in her element.

"That's not something most people say," she said with a slight giggle.

Hoad said her drives and putting game are two of her strengths on the course, and it showed through much of Friday's and Saturday's rounds of the Lauren Johnson Memorial Classic.

She credits a change in equipment three months ago - to a new set of Ping Faith series clubs - with giving her a new edge.

"I love them," she said. "I can really feel the speed it needs to go and how the green is. It's come together for me, they're fantastic."

Unfortunately there's only so much improved equipment and loads of practice can do in the face of Mother Nature. Saturday's round was mired with a stiff westward wind that blew through the entirety of the round, and included a little rain.

All of this ended up blowing Hoad a little off course. After shooting an 86 on Friday at Victoria Country Club, landing her in third place after the first day of play, she shot a 91 and fell back to seventh overall.

"It was a little rough (Saturday)," the senior golfer said. "The wind didn't help, and when it started raining that didn't help either. (Friday) was better, but I'm OK with how I did.

"I had nice shots and nice drives, and nice iron shots, and my putting was right on (Friday). (Saturday), my chipping was a little off."

Hoad is part of a trio of golfers on the East girls team that coach Mike Smith is looking to lead the team through District 30-4A play. Along with Tessa Lev and Lindsey Crabb, the goal is to reach regionals this year with all three shooting in the high 70s or low 80s.

All three posted a round in the mid-80s during the tournament, with Crabb shooting an 85 on Saturday and Lev shooting 86.

Hoad has put in a lot of work to improve each of the last three years. The senior said she got serious about golf freshman year, and has improved by double-digit strokes each year.

"I was hitting in the hundreds, and that made me upset," she said. "Now, I'm hitting mid-80s, and practicing as much as I can, and it's really paying off."

The big payoff this year, she hopes, is to reach the regional tournament with her teammates.

"Maybe even winning district as an individual," she said, also hinting at hoping for a berth at the state tournament in Austin. "I'd love to go to state with my team, we're all really close."



NOTES

Victoria East finished third place as a team, but was shut out of the top five individual awards. Smith said Claire Vivian (94) and Hannah Karasiuk (101) turned in their best rounds of the season. East medalist Ashley Martin shot a 118 on Saturday after notching a 116 at Victoria Country Club on Friday.

Corpus Christi Moody's Kelsey Canales followed up an 83 on Friday with the best round of the day Saturday, shooting a 2-over 74 to win the tournament by seven strokes over Asutin Westlake's So Yun Jhang, who shot a 76 on Saturday. Friday's leader, St. Joseph's Chloe Velasco, did not compete Saturday.• Westlake ran away with the team competition, winning by 58 strokes. The Chaparrals placed three golfers in the top five. C.C. Moody placed two.

LAUREN JOHNSON MEMORIAL

Final standings

Victoria Country Club and Club at Colony Creek

Saturday

TEAM FINAL: Austin Westlake 675; CC Moody 733; Victoria East 747; A&M Consolidated 795; Round Rock McNeil 815

INDIVIDUAL FINAL: Kelsey Canales (CCM) 83 74 157; So Yun Jhang (AW) 89 76 165; Piper Pickard (AW) 89 77 166; Brittany Rodriguez (CCM) 87 82 169; Jasmina Solankee (AW) 89 81 170

A&M Consolidated : Randi Miller 106 94 200; Madison Hanson 110 93 203; Caroline Zerbe 99 85 184; Marli McMurray 116 114 230; Amy Hejl 107 101 208; Team Total 422 373 795

Austin Westlake: Cha Sumin 90 84 174; Piper Pickard 89 77 166; Jasmina Solankee 89 81 170; So Yun Jhang 89 76 165; Angela Jin 92 84 176; Team Total 357 318 675

Callallen : Jessica Seal 94 95 189; Alli Blundell 94 99 193; Corrie Fowler 113 101 214; Jessalyn Newcomb 130 131 261; Team Total 431 426 857

CC Moody: Kelsey Canales 83 74 157; Brittany Rodriguez 87 82 169; Madison Dibble 98 100 198; Natalia Serment 106 103 209; Team Total 374 359 733

Houston St. Agnes: Alexis Winbourne 105 103 208; Emily White 96 98 194; Ali Betzko 126 120 246; Madeline Meyers 121 111 232; Team Total 448 432 880

Round Rock McNeil : Natalie Windolph 101 96 197; Kiana McDaniel 96 96 192; Nicole Neves 108 109 217; Caitlin Blair 124 120 244; Leilani McDaniel 112 97 209; Team Total 417 398 815

Ingleside: Corynn Gurdan 134 NC NC; Daisey Moreno 147 NC NC; Lauren Ducote 147 123 270

St. Joseph: Chloe Velasco 82 NC NC; Laci Linam 97 98 195; Taylor Janak 95 110 205; Shana Sauer 142 144 286; Kelly Wood 137 128 265; Team Total 411 480 891

Victoria East: Cassidy Hoad 86 91 177; Lindsey Crabb 93 85 178; Tessa Lev NC 86 NC; Claire Vivian 104 94 198; Hannah Karasiuk 108 101 209; Team Total 391 356 747

Victoria West: Morgan Park 98 104 202; Emily Richter 126 114 240; Clare Smejkal 134 109 243; Shelby Salas 132 124 256; Team Total 490 451 941

Medalists: Jessica Grooms (Austin Westlake) 96 95 191; Kaylie Ivester (Round Rock McNeil) 125 113 238; Ashley Martin (Victoria East) 116 118 234; Emily Wells (St. Joseph) 132 132 264; Sara Casas (Beeville) 139 137 276; Deldra James (Beeville) 133 138 271

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