The journey to the state golf tournament began Tuesday for two Churchill County High School students.
Kaitlyn Hunter and Allie Lister traveled to Pahrump for today’s 3A state golf tournament.
According to coach Sandy Vanderbeek, Tuesday was expected to be a practice day to get a feel for the course.
This is Hunter’s first year on the golf team. She said it feels good to qualify for state when she’s so new to the sport. She said it’s exciting since she didn’t think she would make it.
Hunter added she’s more worried about her own score.
“I’m just worried about my own game,” she said. “Trying to improve on the areas I know I can improve on; get my score lower, try to break 100, that’s my main goal.”
Hunter said she isn’t too worried about the technical aspects of the tournament and is going to try to have fun, rather than worrying about the competition.
“I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into going to state for golf,” she said. “So for now I’m just going to enjoy the experience and take everything in.”
She added that she hasn’t been too nervous about the tournament. She said she knows how consistently she’s been playing and feels she should do well if she keeps doing what’s worked for her. She admitted she’s a little nervous about the rules, though, since she hasn’t learned all of them and any state-specific rules.
“That kind of concerns me, but other than that I’m pretty confident,” Hunter said.
This is Lister’s second time going to state, being Fallon’s only golfer at last year’s tournament. She said she’s excited for the opportunity. She doesn’t feel as nervous this year. She said last year’s experience helped her. She said she feels like her game has improved since last year. Lister said her strokes have gone down and she “has been working from the 150 (yards) in.”
“I feel like if I put my heart into the game I can get lower scores and eventually beat them,” she said.
Vanderbeek said Hunter has a calm attitude and should try to play like it’s any other round of golf while Lister could expect a calm couple days with fewer nerves. Vanderbeek said both golfers have been improving their control.
Lister said the south usually has strong teams at state, noting they tend to be as good as Spring Creek and Elko, the top teams in the northern division — she added the southern teams usually finish around 100.
Hunter and Lister both said their main goal at the tournament is to lower their own score and both hope to finish under 100. In the last few practices of the season they have been working on putting and the short game to lower strokes.
“I think we’ll be OK,” Lister said. “I’m not nervous at all, because of last year and knowing the atmosphere.”
Vanderbeek said she is confident about her players’ skills and excited for them.
“My hope for both is to have two fun days,” she said. “Their scores should be close to, if not under, their averages.”