For the third year in a row, the Mansfield Lake Ridge girls have won the district golf tournament and are moving on to the regional tournament.
Individually, the district tournament was won by Caitlyn Lindell, a Lake Ridge junior.
Lindell shot a 71-70, her best two-day total. But like a fisher, she keeps thinking about the one that got away.
She really wanted to break 70 and had her chance for a birdie on 16, but was just able to par the hole.
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“I was determined to play my best,” Lindell said. “I can’t complain. I finished well. On 18, a par 5, I hit a bunker on the second shot and got it out and birdied the hole. It was a great way to finish.”
Last year, Lindell finished second at the district meet and went on to finish third at the regional and 14th at the state tournament, just two shots away from her goal of making the Top 10.
Lindell said her short game has become her strength, as she’s continued to work on it over the years. That has become beneficial as many of the high school courses have had shorter courses.
There could have been another, similar-looking golfer on the team in Lindell’s twin sister Cassidy, but the two have developed totally different athletic interests. Her sister, a runner, hasn’t had much desire to play golf.
Lindell said she hates to run, so golf was a logical sport for her.
But to win a third-straight team title took the play of others such as senior Kalyleigh Mints and freshman Lauren Patterson.
Mints finished fifth overall (81-83) but was the individual champ in her sophomore year, just a year after taking up the sport competitively.
Mints said she took up the sport to play along with her brother and father. That start led to becoming part of the foundation which has made Lake Ridge a recurring threat in the district.
Coming into this year’s tournament, though, the youth of the team created some uncertainty.
“Honestly, we were nervous at the start of the year,” Mints said. “We were able to pull though and win district and now we’re going to regionals.”
Mints said one of the key goals has now been reached, and the reward is to compete at the Region II tournament at Rockwall’s Golf and Athletic Club. That tournament winds up early this week, after the press deadline.
Some of the youth has been a positive, such as the play of freshman Patterson.
Patterson said she got her start in golf from her grandfather when she was in the sixth grade. Her first varsity experience was both exciting and scary as she headed into the district tournament.
“We got more confident with each shot and our score. We were all prepared and made it our goal,” she said of making the back-to-back-to-back sweep. “We did feel pressure after winning the last two years.”
Other players making the Lady Eagles’ victory a possibility were Madison Hewitt, a sophomore, and Avery Gonzalez, a junior.