BLANKET — Blanket's Marki Kinkade has accomplished more in her golf career than most high school students could ever imagine, and yet another dream came true Thursday.
The reigning Class A girls golf individual state champion, and member of the defending team state champion Lady Tigers, is headed for UT-Tyler where she will continue her golf and academic career.
“Everything I've been doing my whole life with playing golf has paid off, and now I'm getting to go play at the next level,” Kinkade said. “It means a lot.”
Quiet and reserved, Kinkade has done her talking on the golf course while at Blanket High School — an attribute she felt fit best with the UT-Tyler program, run by head coach Grant Spencer.
“I talked to the coach at Angelo State and the coach at UT-Tyler, and the coach at UT-Tyler and I really got along,” Kinkade said. “I don't talk very much and he doesn't mind that.”
Kinkade won the 2017 Class A girls golf state championship as a junior, erasing a three-stroke deficit after the first round to earn the title by one shot. Kinkade posted a 160 composite score with rounds of 81 and 79 at Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin.
Kinkade was also the state runner-up as a freshman and placed seventh as a sophomore.
The Lady Tigers captured the state championship by 20 strokes last year, and with all four members of the team back in 2018, a repeat is the unquestioned goal. The Lady Tigers will take part in the Region III-A tournament at Squaw Valley Golf Course in Glen Rose April 25-26, as the top two teams move on to state. Blanket qualified for regional by winning the District 19-A title by 206 strokes over runner-up Sidney.
“We just want to do it all again, to repeat,” Kinkade said. “Our team has improved, and things are looking really good. Myself personally, my mental game is a lot stronger and I'm overcoming better, so I think I have a pretty good chance.”
At UT-Tyler, Kinkade's goals are “to just play the best that I can. The first semester will probably be a little rougher being the new one, but I just want to play well.”
Kinkade, the daughter of Charles and Janis Kinkade, plans to major in Kinesiology at UT-Tyler.