DAYTON — Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
It usually takes a little luck to be a champion and Carson High sophomore Karen Beglin just didn’t have it at the NIAA 4A State Golf Championships on Tuesday at Dayton Valley Golf Club.
First came a beautiful drive on the 14th hole that ended up in the water. Then the final blow to Beglin’s chances at a state title came on the 16th hole when what looked to be a sure birdie putt lipped out.
Beglin ended up tied for fourth with her sister, CHS senior Jill, as both finished at 7-over-par 151. Jill Beglin had an outstanding day, moving up from a tie for 11th after shooting a 78 in the first round. She fired a 1-over-par 73 on Tuesday.
Karen came into Tuesday’s round with a 1-stroke lead over Faith Lutheran’s Gracie Olkowski after shooting a 73 on Monday. Olkowski ended up winning the state title, finishing at 4-over 148 after firing her second straight 74 on Tuesday.
Centennial’s McKenzie Hall (76-74-150) and Clark’s Riana Mission (79-71-150) tied for second at 6-over-par. Mission had the low round of the day, a 1-under-par 71.
Karen Beglin took the bad luck on 14 in stride.
“It was fine,” she said. She noted she still had a chance for par after taking a drop and a penalty when she hit a nice shot on to the green about 10 feet from the hole. But she just missed her par putt and settled for bogey.
Karen got off to a strong start and was at even-par after shooting 1-under through the first six holes. At that point she had a two-stroke lead over Olkowski.
But Karen went on to shoot 6-over-par over the final 12 holes. But she didn’t use the windy conditions and the tough greens as an excuse.
“They were just fine,” said Karen about the conditions.
“It was kind of tough, I thought,” Jill responded.
About the greens, Karen said, “they were rolling smoothly, so that’s good.”
Karen still had a 2-stroke lead over Olkowski with seven holes to play after the 11th and it appeared Karen and Olkowski were on their way to a battle for the state title.
Beglin bogeyed the 12th and Olkowski came away with a par to come within one stroke of Beglin. Then came the fateful 14th in which Beglin bogeyed and Olkowski parred, leaving the two tied with four holes to go.
Olkowski went ahead of Beglin on the 15th when Olkowski parred and Beglin had another bogey. Then Beglin’s fate was sealed on the 16th when her birdie putt lipped out.
Olkowski birdied, leaving her at 4-over-par and two shots ahead of Beglin, who fell to 6-over. “Definitely, definitely a learning experience,” Beglin said.
Beglin has two more shots at a state title. “Of course I’ll be her No. 1 fan,” Jill said.
Jill said she was concentrating on keeping her score down on Tuesday.
“I was playing pretty conservatively,” she said.
Jill has made an official visit to Seton Hall, but said she’s still undecided on where she’s going to college or when she’ll sign.
“I plan on taking some other visits ending up in the next month or so,” she said.