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Marble Falls boys golf team makes regionals

Marble Falls boys golf team makes regionals

The 2020-21 Marble Falls High School boys golf team is headed to a regional tournament for the first time in two decades. The team includes assistant coach Rick Blackington (left), players Mason Neill, Grant Norris, Waylon Hibbitts, Blake Turner, and Isaiah Ramirez, and head coach Lonnie Tackitt. Courtesy photo

The Marble Falls High School boys golf team is returning to a regional tournament for the first time since 2003 thanks to an impressive second-place finish at the District 25-5A tournament.

The Mustangs shot a team score of 644 over two rounds on April 1 and April 5 at Delaware Springs Municipal Golf Course in Burnet. 

The Class 5A Region IV tournament is April 21-22 at Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive in San Antonio.

The Mustangs were magnificent from start to finish during the district tournament, according to head coach Lonnie Tackitt. 

“It had been a long time,” Tackitt said of the regional appearance drought. “We finished third (at the district tournament) six times, and seven times we’ve been fourth. It’s so tough in golf to be in the top two (in district).”

In golf, only the top two teams advance to the playoffs unlike other sports that take as many as four.

The Mustangs were paced by Blake Turner, who shot a staggering 71 opening round that shocked the field. His second-round score of 75 for a two-day total of 146 made him the district runner-up in the individual race.

“Blake, (on) the first day, led the whole district,” Tackitt said. “The other (teammates) had hot streaks and cold streaks. You always wonder how the pressure is going. They really were hanging in there and playing solid golf.”

Waylon Hibbitts shot a second-round 76 after posting an 84 in the first round for a total of 160. 

Tackitt commended Hibbitts for bouncing back to earn a score more in line with how he’s played all year.

“That’s more of his type of round,” the coach said. 

Grant Norris shot a steady 80-80—160, while Isaiah Ramirez shot a 90-90—180 and Mason Neill added a 94-88—182.

“All those were really big for us,” Tackitt said. “It was a fun day.”

Knowing the district tournament was going to be at nearby Delaware Springs, the Mustangs played there as often as possible.

“We played a heavy schedule at Delaware Springs, at any tournament,” he said. “We’ve seen it many times this year. The kids are comfortable there.”

In August, Tackitt said this Mustang team had the talent to challenge for the district crown. It was gratifying to see his players perform the way he thought they could, he said.

“As a coach, it’s been fun to see it every day in practice,” he said. “And then, to see those scores and being able to pull it from practice to tournament play, I’m really proud of them. It’s real fun for me.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com