Cowan wins playoff to reach State

April 20, 2010 at 11 p.m.
Updated April 19, 2010 at 11:20 p.m.

Ali Cowan entered the day tied for first overall in the individual standings after shooting an opening round 1-under 71, and Memorial as a team had posted several scores in the mid and low-80s and was poised to make a move at qualifying as a team for the 5A girls golf state tournament.

It was not to be.

Cowan shot a second day 78 on a rainy day at the Region IV-5A golf tournament at Los Lagos Golf Course in Edinburg, landing her in a three-way tie for the two open individual spots at the 5A state tournament for the top two finishers not on an advancing team. Austin Westlake and San Antonio MacArthur had already locked up the top two team spots.

Jessica Tamen of Edinburg had a birdie on the first playoff hole, giving her the first medalist spot, leaving Cowan to duel with Flower Castillo of San Antonio Lee for the final individual spot.

"I was a little upset because I kind of gave it away, I shouldn't have been in the playoff in the first place," Cowan said.

Memorial coach Mike Smith said he told her to trust her swing before going into the playoff.

"If you really trust your swing, it's going to take away the jitters. She did an outstanding job in the playoff," he said.

On the third playoff hole, there was a breakthrough. Cowan made par on the hole, and Castillo had a bogey, putting the freshman golfer for the Lady Vipers into the state tournament as the second medalist.

"I was just trying to do the best I could and not try to birdie every hole, but to be in the moment," she said.

It was a major achievement for Cowan and for Memorial, who entered the second day in third place and struggled throughout the second round, finishing the day with a team score of 348, a 22-shot increase from the previous day and enough to allow a surging San Antonio Reagan to take third place.

Smith said the team struggled with rain that fell early in the day, hampering their play on the front nine.

"We didn't have a real good day, but overall it was a good tournament for us," "Today, we just didn't play well."

Smith said the girls got to experience first hand what it was like with the pressure was on and a lot of people watching. He said there would be crowds of 50 to 100 people watching at some of the holes.

"It helped us to get used to pressure and how to play when the pressure is on, and to realize you just have to concentrate even harder when the pressure is on," Smith said. "I think they handled it all right, we just didn't play as well as we would have liked to."

Memorial's scores were generally up across the board. Ashley Weaver shot a second day 87, four strokes over her opening round 83; Jackie Gonzales shot a 90, three shots over her opening round 87; Briana Reyes shot a second round 93 after shooting an opening round 85. Meagan Neuman improved on her opening round 99 with a 96 on the second day.


SAN MARCOS - Back by two strokes from first-place Lago Vista entering the second day, Rice Consolidated and Weimar both improved on their team scores of 353 on the second day to overtake first and second place and advance to the Class-2A state tournament Tuesday at Quail Creek Country Club.

Weimar was led by Eric Guerrero, who shot an opening round 79 but fell back with a second day 85. Rice was led by Myles Dumont, who shot an 81 and an 89 over the two days he played.

Rice's Carlos Sosa also posted the team's low score of the second day, improving on his opening round 93 by shooting an 81 on Wednesday.


Final standings, Los Lagos Golf Course, Edinburg

Team winners: Austin Westlake 288-298 - 586; San Antonio MacArthur 314-323 - 637; San Antonio Reagan 330-319 - 649; Memorial 326-348 - 674.

Memorial scores: Ali Cowan 71-78 - 149; Ashley Weaver 83-87 - 170; Jackie Gonzales 87-90 - 177; Briana Reyes 85-93 - 178; Meagan Neuman 99-96 - 195.



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