MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

May 4, 2012

STATE GOLF REPORT: Lady Rougher surges: Pearson shoots 6A’s lowest round, finishes fourth

— Her prophetic touch was just a little off target, but you won’t hear Catrina Pearson agonizing over it anytime soon.

After struggling to an 80 on Wednesday in the first round of the Class 6A state girls golf tournament, the Muskogee High senior sizzled on Thursday, shooting the only sub-par round of the tournament — a 1-under par 70.

“Last night I told everyone I was going to shoot 69 and I recreated the entire situation when I shot 69 here two years ago,” she said, referring to a summer tournament she played in.

“I was just off that.”

With it, Pearson climbed the leaderboard, from 11th to fourth overall, topping her previous high at state of 13th. Her 8-over 150 was three strokes behind state champion Allison Sell of Edmond North (73-74—147). Union’s Anna Kim and Emma Allen both shot 75-74—149 to lead the Lady Redskins to the team championship. A teammate, Nadia Majidi, was fifth (76-75—151).

First-round co-leader Maddie Luitweiler was sixth at 152 after sliding to a second-round 79.

Pearson said there wouldn’t be any looking back on what might have been had a few things had gone right for her in round one.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t have any fun yesterday and today I had a blast,” she said Thursday. “Yesterday I played scared, today I played aggressive and it worked.”

It began with the prediction and didn’t take long to materialize. Her approach on the par-4 10th, her first hole of the day, dropped within three feet of the cup and she soon registered the first of five birdies on the day. She also got one at 14, then at 5, both par 4s.

Then there was the clutch finish. She sank a pair of birdie putts to finish, from six to eight feet out, on the par-3 8 and par-4 9. After her final putt, she gave a fist-pump that that was as aggressive as her play was.

“Yesterday I just didn’t get anything going. It wasn’t that I was playing bad, it was just a bad shot here, a bad shot there, not any one thing,” she said. “Today was just like I wanted it — well, a shot off. But I wanted to finish in the top five and I did.”

In a couple of weeks, Pearson, a four-time state qualifier, will sign with Grand Canyon (Ariz.), a college her coach, Kevin Hogue, put her in touch with as he almost went there as a player.

“Great for her last time to play as a senior. She’s worked hard for this moment,” said Hogue, in his first year at MHS.  

For the rest of the Lady Roughers, two slipped and two stepped up. Adrianna Wilson followed a 91 with a 94 and Michaela Stevenson shot a 104 after a 97. Sydni Rosson dropped her score eight strokes to a 102 and Katie Matthews, fashioning her best nine-hole total on the front nine, knocked 16 strokes off her first-round 131.

Southmoore improved a little more than MHS and bumped the Roughers into 12th overall, six strokes up at 742. Behind Muskogee (748) was Ponca City at 759.

“We had six girls out this year and graduate three (Pearson, Wilson and Stevenson) but we had 11 eighth-graders out this year,” Hogue said. “This today gives us some momentum to build on.”

Behind Union (606) was Edmond North (631), followed by Jenks (655), Broken Arrow (666) and Mustang (681) to round out the top five. The rest of the field was Choctaw (681), Bishop Kelley (710), Edmond Santa Fe (365), Owasso (720), Edmond Memorial (733) and Southmoore, Muskogee and Ponca City.

Other state results follow.

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