AUSTIN — The Blanket Lady Tigers defended their Class A girls golf state championship in record-breaking fashion, posting a 100-stroke victory over runner-up Robert Lee as the 36-hole, two-day event reached its conclusion Tuesday at Lions Municipal Golf Course.
Blanket senior Marki Kinkade also captured her second consecutive Class A girls golf individual state championship, outdueling runner-up Skylar Mast of Richards by 13 strokes.
The Lady Tigers, who won the state tournament by 29 strokes in 2017, opened a 61-stroke advantage after the first round and coasted to the finish.
“Monday set the tone,” said Blanket golf coach Monty Jones, as the Lady Tigers posted an opening round 357 composite score. “We came in knowing that we could take care of business and we did it. We wanted to get off to a fast start and didn't want to have to be looking over our shoulder.
“Today the pressure wasn't on us really to post a score, we just had to finish. We didn't shoot the scores that we'd like, but we didn't have to. The pressure was on five or six teams battling for second and third and we just kind of played along with those teams. We did our thing and those schools battled it out and it really worked out well.”
Blanket closed with a 375 Tuesday to finish with a 732 team score which, along with the 100-stroke victory over runner-up Robert Lee (832), are both believed to be new Class A girls records, according to Jones.
“Over the past two years we've won a lot of tournaments and we've improved a lot,” Kinkade said. “It's really awesome to see how each of them has grown and how their golf games have gotten better throughout the years.”
Kinkade led the charge for Blanket with rounds of 75 and 77 for a 152 composite, which tied another Class A girls record for lowest tournament score. Mast, who Kinkade rallied to beat by one stroke last year, finished with a second-place score of 165.
“My goal honestly was to shoot in the 150s for a two-day total, I didn't even know the record,” Kinkade said. “Each year my scores have gotten better and I really played pretty good the past two days.”
As for closing out her high school career as a two-time state champion, Kinkade said, “The feeling is honestly indescribable. It means a lot.”
Kinkade's golf career will continue as she signed with NCAA Division III UT-Tyler earlier this spring.
“Eventually I want to be one of the best players on the team,” Kinkade said of her college aspirations. “Mostly I just want to play well and enjoy playing golf.”
Emily Furry sat in second place after Monday's round with an 84, then added a 97 Tuesday to finish at 181. Cassie Furry chipped in an opening 93 and closing 92 for a 185, Kenzie Tidwell shot a 105 Monday and a 109 Tuesday for a 214 composite and Shelby Smith posted an opening 123 followed by a season-best 112 Tuesday for a 235 to end the year.
“We were kind of flat today, kind of tired, but we played effective golf,” Jones said. “It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. It turned out to be a great day.
“We started back in mid-February so the length of this season has been like a football season. But we're relieved and now we have three preparing for graduation on Friday (Kinkade, Tidwell and Emily Furry). This was a culmination of a lot of good things. There were some tears shed today, but a lot of good memories were made.”