White Plains girls in, boys out, Alexandria girls in; WP’s Webb girls co-medalist, Sawyer advances individually
By Al Muskewitz
SILVER LAKES — Baylie Webb was so happy to win her first high school tournament in such a major environment. She was even happier not having to go to a playoff.
The White Plains senior shot a 6-over-par 78 Tuesday at Silver Lakes to share medalist honors with the Westminster’s Lucia Perez in the Class 4A-5A North Substate championship.
It was her first-ever tournament win and since both players were headed to the state tournament next week at Hampton Cove anyway organizers decided against playing it off and awarded co-medalists.
“I was not looking forward to that playoff,” Webb said. “A little nervous and we’ve been sitting in here for two hours and my head wasn’t really in it and I just didn’t want to have to get back out there and re-warmup and re-focus.”
Webb was in the grille with the rest of her White Plains teammates well before the rest of the field made it back. There were only a few players left on the course really capable of challenging the leaders and when sectional champion Savannah Sandlin of Oneonta posted an 84, the victory — both Webb’s individually and White Plains’ as a team — was secured.
The Lady Wildcats shot 240 as a team for the second week in a row, 20 shots ahead of runner-up Alexandria. Knowing they were sitting on that lead offset any anxiety Webb may have had about waiting out any potential playoff for the individual lead.
She had come close to winning before. She was second in sectionals last year and tied for second this year. She finished tied for third at state last year. This will be her fourth trip to the state tournament.
“I was more happy the team shot well and we were winning than personally,” she said. “I was happy with the way I shot and I knew I couldn’t go back and fix anything, so I kind of just accepted if someone beat me it was OK and if I won that was OK, too, but I was really happy with the way the team did today. Very difficult. It gives us a lot of confidence going into next Monday and Tuesday and we’re hoping to go back-to-back.”
White Plains golf coach Chris Randall, meanwhile, left the course with mixed emotions. While the girls were sub-state champions, his boys team came up four shots short of qualifying for their third straight trip to state and won’t get to defend their state title.
Instead, only county champion Sawyer Edwards will be advancing after shooting 76. Oneonta’s Russell Boren was the boys medalist after shooting 73.
“It cuts both ways,” Randall said. “As happy as I am for the girls, I’m just sick for the boys.”
It’s a feeling he’d had before. Three years ago, the boys team made it to state (finishing third) and the girls were left out.
The girls team, perhaps motivated by finishing second to Alexandria in the county tournament, shot 240 for the second week in a row.
The round they shot Tuesday came from a 78 (Webb), 80 (Isabel Rogers) and 82 (Abby Gattis). The 240 they shot in the sectional was 80-80-80 by those three.
“You shoot 240 in the state tournament … you’re going to be right there,” Randall said.
Alexandria was led by Emma Ray (81) and county medalist Lauren Sechrest (88). Emilee Brown counted a 91. Ray’s round was highlighted by an eagle on Mindbreaker 5 and a birdie three holes later. She had 108 yards to the green on 5 and hit a 6-iron from 150 to a foot on 8.
The White Plains boys didn’t play badly Tuesday, Randall said, they were just plagued by the occasional big number. “I was so excited to see the boys play today; I thought we were going to tear it up,” he said.
Edwards’ round was impacted by nine lip-out putts for birdie. He made his only birdie on 15.
“I’m kind of bummed out the team didn’t make it,” he said. “I knew I should have made it. I knew I had to still play good. I didn’t play good, but got away with it.”
It opened the door for Boren, who was motivated by finishing second to the White Plains sophomore in the sectional here last week. His round featured four birdies in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the round that got him into red numbers until a double bogey on 18 got him back over par.
“At sectionals, I kind of let it get away from me, but I knew what I needed to work on,” Boren said. “I took some notes on what I did bad at sectionals and I went out there and worked on it over the week. I came up here and played a practice round last Friday and I think that helped very much.
“My mind was completely on golf this week. I know this course and I knew I had it in me to make it happen.” [*** read more]