GLEN ROSE – In what was their best showing thus far in 2015-16, Tiger golf proved it is more than capable of bettering last season’s finish in the UIL 3A State Championship. Although Head Coach Owen Clifton’s team did not finish in the top-three, their fourth place showing was more a reflection of the competition they were up against than the overall performance.
The level of competition is also not anywhere close to what Clifton said he expects to see at the 11-3A meet in two short weeks.
“District will be tough, but we aren’t going to see teams like this and not even at the state tournament,” said his team’s fifth-place finish behind four private schools. “There were kids out here committed to Oklahoma, SMU and several other Division I type prospects. But I felt good about this weekend. I feel like if we keep playing, and keep getting better and better, then good things are coming.”
“Overall, we played well and I am pleased with the way we are playing right now,” Clifton continued. “Today was tough with the wind and the cold, but I told myself that as long as we come out today and shoot a 330 that I would be happy and that is exactly what we shot. I was pleased with the way they played and the way they battled. The wind made it tough even when we were putting.”
Prior to the wind gusts reaching upwards of 25 miles per hour and temperatures dropping into the mid- to low-50’s Glen Rose carded a 303-team total in day one. The round is lower than any round Glen Rose posted in last season’s state tournament or any round thus far this season.
“I thought we played really well yesterday,” Clifton said. “That is the lowest score we have shot all season by a lot. I’m glad we are playing well at the right time and it was good to see the guys who needed to play well, play well.”
During the opening round of the two-day tournament, Chris Rorie carded a two-under, 70 for his lowest round on the season. Rorie bogeyed just four holes on day one – holes one and two on the front nine and No. 11 and 15 on the back. But day two was an entirely different animal en route to his 88 (+16) for a 158 (+14) two-day total.
Rorie finished five shots back of Glen Rose low man, Jared Brandt and his 153 (+9) total.
“Today was brutal with the wind and the cold, but my problem today was more mental and I made too many simple mistakes,” Rorie said. “I thought I putted better today than I have in a long time, so it wasn’t really my putting. I really just couldn’t swing a golf club.”
“It was windy, yes, but I have played in windy tournaments and shot 76,” he continued. “It was almost like everything that could have gone wrong today went wrong, and yesterday everything that could have gone right went right.
Dylan Cunningham fished third for the Tigers with a 161 (+17), Jadon Morris carded a 163 (+19), Zac Banz turned in a 171 (+27).
“Chris needed to play well, so his two-under the first day was big for him,” Clifton said. “Dylan needed to find some consistency and did, which is huge for him. And then Jared and Jadon continued to be right there and consistent.
For Rorie, there is little question about whether or not the Tigers can make a second-straight run at a State Championship.
“I feel like we have a really good chance to get back to the state tournament,” Rorie said. “If we all shoot how I know we can all shoot and stop putting all of the extra pressure on ourselves then I feel like we can get back there. We just have to learn how to deal with the pressure, the whole game is about pressure.”
The Tigers returned to the links on Monday and fished fourth in the regional preview tournament.