JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Three strokes kept the Marble Falls High School girls golf team from qualifying for the Class 4A Region IV tournament a year ago. And those golfers remembered that feeling for 365 days, according to head coach Lonnie Tackitt.
On March 31 and April 2, the squad shot a two-day total of 706 to finish second at the District 25-5A tournament and advance to regionals — replacing that feeling of disappointment with jubilation.
“I’m real proud of them,” Tackitt said. “Last year, they kept breaking school records and didn’t get to regionals. They really wanted it this year.”
The previous week, the Lady Mustangs finished fifth with a team score of 359 at the Burnet Invitational at Delaware Springs Municipal Golf Course. Because the course also was the site of the District 25-5A tournament, other division members were in attendance.
“Four of the girls had been off for Spring Break,” Tackitt said. “Sam Offutt and Delaney Kelley shot personal bests, and that was a total surprise. It was good to get (most of the golfers) away from it mentally. They did refocus (for the district tournament), definitely.”
Going into the district tournament, the favorite was Cedar Park Vista Ridge, Class 5A’s top-ranked team by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Vista Ridge won the district championship with a 314-308–622.
But Marble Falls, Dripping Springs, Leander, Georgetown and Vista Ridge’s second team were battling for second place.
The Lady Mustangs set a pace for that final playoff spot by shooting a 347 thanks to Blaire Hambrick (82), Offut (86) and Kelley (87), who each tied or set new personal bests for a round. Meanwhile, Kelsie Tackitt shot a 41 on the back nine to help. In addition, the district tournament tees were 550 yards farther than what the golfers played in the Burnet Invitational.
“The girls really played incredible the first day,” Tackitt said. “They shot their lowest round of the year. For us to shoot our best and be 550 yards farther than the week before, that shows how well we played.”
Georgetown, which finished third, was 15 strokes behind headed into the final round. So as the tournament began to play out, the coaches knew the final playoff spot would be decided by each team’s fourth and fifth players.
Cue the coach’s daughter.
“Kelsey had a much better round,” her father said. “She had a string of pars really when we needed it. We were behind by two strokes with three scores in.”
The younger Tackitt parred the final hole to finish with a 92-88–180 without knowing how important her score had become.
“I didn’t want her to know,” Tackitt said. “I didn’t have any idea what her score was until (one of the head coaches) said, ‘Your daughter is leading our fourth by quite a bit.’”
Hambrick’s 82-81–163 put her in the top 10 of the tournament, making her a first-team all-district member.
The regional tournament is April 15-16 at the Republic Golf Club, 4226 Military Drive SE in San Antonio.
“We’re playing our best golf right now, which is what you want,” Tackitt said. “If we put together a couple of 340 rounds, there is a shot at the state tournament.”
RESULTS: Blaire Hambrick 82-81–163; Kelsie Tackitt 92-88–180; Delaney Kelley 87-93–180; Dam Offut 86-97–183; Shelcee Clark 96-100–196
UP NEXT: Class 4A Region IV Tournament on April 15-16 at the Republic Golf Club, 4226 Military Drive SE in San Antonio