A good kind of Dull tourney
ARLINGTON ? It’s hard to imagine someone being frustrated after winning a golf tournament.
But instead of enjoying the spoils of victory after the Division II District Golf Tournament, Lakota’s Makayla Dull could be found on the practice green, putting away.
Meanwhile, Mohawk’s Katelynn Kinley could be found in the clubhouse eating food she wasn’t interested in eating while she waited to find out if she was heading to Columbus, heading back to the course for a playoff or heading home.
Buckeye Central’s Lydia Shealy already knew her fate and headed back to New Washington, left to take in all she accomplished in an historic season.
Dull fired a 72 to win medalist honors at the district tourney at Sycamore Springs, punching her ticket for the state tourney for the third time in as many tries.
Kinley missed by five strokes, carding an 82. Instead, Shelby’s Alexis Jones (75) and Coldwater’s Kelsey Koesters (77) will be moving on along with the teams from Huron (339), Edison (350) and Defiance (373). Those three individuals were joined by Huron’s Rafaella Gioffre (79) and Kylie Greulich (81) as well as Sandusky St. Mary’s Maddie Kreidler (81) on the all-district team.
Shealy had a rough day, shooting a 102.
The roughest part of Dull’s day came with her putter.
“I played pretty consistent today. There was really only one bad hole that I was disappointed in, No. 17. I had a double bogey there,” Dull said. “I shot a 2-over 38 on the back side, which is where I started, and it was average, just so-so. I knew the front side was easier and more open and would be easier to score.”
She carded a 2-under 34 on the front nine to bring herself even on the day.
“My iron shots (were good). My drives were pretty decent. My putting was the low point. It was ‘eh,'” Dull said.
Lakota coach Chad Garberich said Dull could have scored even better.
“I joke with her all the time about it. ‘You don’t make a putt outside of four feet,'” Garberich said. “And today she didn’t. She shoots a 72 and she doesn’t make anything outside of four feet and double bogeys (No.) 17. She did really good today with ball placement. This is a course that you have to be in the right spots and she was.”
He said Dull ensured she didn’t need to scoreboard-watch like she did last year, when she carded an 81 and finished third among the individuals.
“Being the first group out, we joked about that: not shooting a 79 or 80 and having to scoreboard watch all day,” Garberich said. “She went out and posted a real good number and left a lot out there. It doesn’t seem like it when you shoot a 72. But it could have very easily been a 67, 68 today. Hopefully we can reel everything in for the state tournament.”
Kinley is hoping she can reel in a state tourney bid next year.
“It’s one of those frustrating days. You think you’re playing well and everything starts to fall apart and you bring it back and it’s still not enough,” Kinley said. “It was probably nerves. It was just a mental block. I realized as I made the turn and saw the scores on the scoreboard, that I really needed to pull myself together and I did. I just tried to stay focused.”
Kinley, in her second-straight appearance at the district tourney, carded a 44 on the back nine, which is where she started before finishing with a 38 on the front.
“The most frustrating part is being that close and not making it. Last year was easier when I was farther away. I was standing up here and waiting for all the scores to come in and I was just shaking,” she said. “Then I realized I might have to do a playoff so I had to go get food. I didn’t want to leave but I had to. Once I was in (the clubhouse), I just sat down.”
As the realization settled in that there would be no trip to state and no playoff for that chance, Kinley found herself cheering for her close friends who also had a chance. It didn’t necessarily lessen the blow though.
“It was very, very disappointing because last year wasn’t bad because I had two years (to make state). Now I have just one more year. (After) all that work I did, especially on my second nine, I thought I might have a chance and then it’s like ‘You didn’t work hard enough. Your best wasn’t enough.'”
Her coach, Greg Coffman, would disagree.
“Nothing but proud. Last year she shot an 87 and we were tickled with that. Then this year, she shoots an 82 and she’s disappointed,” the Mohawk mentor said. “She’s done that much better in a year’s time because of all the hard work she puts in. It’s odd that she does better than last year and now she’s disappointed. That’s a good thing because she sets high goals for herself.”
Despite the early struggles, Coffman said he tried to continually encourage his star golfer.
“I kept telling her that even though she wasn’t happy with her score, she was still playing well. She had a couple mis-hits but I thought she was playing really well and her score wasn’t indicative of how well she was playing. She rarely ever gets rattled so I knew that if she kept playing well, it would eventually (come around). And it did.”
While Dull’s putter was her worst club in her bag, it was Kinley’s best.
“Her putting was phenomenal,” Coffman said. “That was most people were making comments about. ‘Wow. Does she always put the ball this well?’ She is a very good putter but she putted extremely well.”
Shealy said just one thing was working for her.
“My driving was really good,” she said. “Anything I had to use an iron for (was trouble).”
She had played the course better on Saturday when she practiced at the course but it was also without the crowds or stiff competition.
BC coach Jack Kidwell said Shealy has nothing to be ashamed of.
“It’s quite an honor to make it out of sectionals. It was a very strong sectional,” Kidwell said. “This was her first year getting out. She knows what it feels like. It’s a big deal to get here. Next year, when she’s back she’ll be ready for that and hopefully she’ll be pleased with her score.”
Shealy has work to do but she’s still trying to take in everything that happened this year.
“This was a very good experience for my first year making it here,” said Shealy, who was the first girl in BC history to advance to the district. “It’s a big honor because no one has done it before. It doesn’t feel real to me that I made it out.”
Other area league schools of note include Bellevue and North Baltimore, who both fired 407. The Redmen won the tie-breaker to give them a ninth-place finish.