Slow start but a fast finish

NEW ALBANY – Fast greens at Oaks Country Club of New Albany didn’t seem to slow down Alex Porter during Wednesday’s Class II, Region 2, District 3 girls tournament.
The Tupelo golfer shot a tournament-low 92 to lead the Lady Wave to the district tournament title. Porter’s score was eight strokes better than Saltillo’s MacKenzie Koehn, who came in second and also qualified for the individual state tournament.
“I started out pretty slow,” said the Tupelo senior, who was playing the New Albany course for the first time. “Hole 1 wasn’t that wonderful – I shot a 10 on that.
“But overall it kind of picked up. Then the back nine I was really proud of myself.
“I started striking it real well and my putts started going in.”
As a team, the Lady Wave shot a 194, nine strokes better than second-place New Albany. Both teams have qualified for the state tournament, May 4-5 at Patrick Farms Golf Course in Pearl.
“They (New Albany golfers) hadn’t played as well today as they would have liked,” said New Albany head coach Robert Garrett. “But we’re proud to have a bad day and still be able to qualify for the state tournament.”
Seniors Haley Berryhill (101) and Jenna Davis (102) led the Lady Bulldogs on their home course Wednesday. Amazingly, Davis, who started playing golf for the first time in her life last year, tied with Tupelo’s Caitlin Lesley for the fourth-best score on Wednesday.
“She doesn’t think that’s special, but everybody else we tell is surprised,” Garrett said.
New Albany assistant coach Chuck Cooper had a lot to do with Davis’ quick progress.
“I started teaching her about a little over a year ago,” Cooper said. “She’s coming around pretty good.”
Paige Watson (108) led Starkville (223), which finished two strokes behind third-place Saltillo (221).
Pontotoc finished in last with a team total of 241. Katherine Kenney led the Lady Warriors with a 112.

John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal