72° F Monday, June 26, 2017

Though the Westlake girls golf team’s string of district titles came to a close, the Chaparrals still clinched a regional berth with a second-place finish at the District 15-5A tournament Tuesday.
Sierra Sims snagged the first-place medalist honors once again, holding off Lake Travis’ Kristen Gillman on Day 2 to win the individual title.
Lake Travis took first as a team with a torrid two days of golf, shooting a combined 281-277=558 with Westlake shooting a 289-293=582 to finish second. Anderson came in third at 337-321=658, with only the top two teams advancing to the Region 2-5A Championships April 16-18 at Cottonwood Creek in Waco.
“I think there was a lot of pride,” Westlake girls golf coach Chuck Nowland said. “They played and kept at it even as it got obvious the second day Lake Travis wasn’t going to come back to us, they played tremendous team golf … We’ll try to start a new district streak next year.”
Sims shot a 63-70=133 to take first place, with all five Chaparral golfers finishing in the top 10. The senior golfer has won the individual state championship the past two seasons.
“She made it look like she was really happy and wanted to go lower and lower,” Nowland said. “Sierra has a chance to do some incredible things so we want to fight for her to make it as a team and take a little pressure off her.”
Maya Walton (74-75=149), Christine Campbell (76-74=150), Claire Wooldridge (76-77=153) finished 6-7-8 while Robin Tan (80-74=154) finished 10th.
“The girls were hitting great shots, great short game,” Nowland said. “There weren’t as many birdie putts, but overall I was very proud of the girls and the spirit they brought to it. I feel good about it, we get to advance to regionals. There are a lot of good things I’ve seen over the last few tournaments.”
The regional tournament will provide plenty of challenges as Westlake will have to fight off not only Lake Travis, but The Woodlands, Allen, College Park and Plano West in the state’s toughest region, with only the top three teams advancing to the state championships.
“We have a challenge and they’re ready for it,” Nowland said. “It’s an indicator that a good team is going to be staying at home (after regionals). We’re going to do everything we can to scrap out of Cottonwood, get back (to state) any way we can.”
Despite the second-place finish, Nowland feels Westlake can still take the top spot at regionals on a course they are quite familiar with.
“We’ve come up short a little bit as of late but I don’t feel like we’re intimated,” he said. “There’s no, ‘Oh, we don’t have a chance.’ There’s a lot of belief that good things will happen. I see a lot of determination to play this thing through.
“We do not have a lot of fear, we like cottonwood – it gives you some advantages and takes away some others as a team. It’s a great equalizer going on.”

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