The Pleasanton Eagle and Lady Eagle golf teams used a big final day at the District 27-4A tournament at River Bend Golf Club in Floresville to book their tickets to the Region IV-4A tournament.
The Eagles shot a two-day score of 626, which included a team score of 311 on day two of the event, to place first as a team. That was four strokes lower than they shot on the first day of the event.
The Lady Eagles shaved 15 strokes off their day one total to shoot 387 on Wednesday and place second as a team. That push lifted the Lady Eagles into second place, the final regional qualifying spot.
Both scores were season-lows for the Eagles and Lady Eagles.
“That’s pretty special, especially for the girls,” Head Coach Michael Guerra said. “We were struggling all year long. We had started off and our scores were pretty high at the beginning of the year. But they worked hard and continued to get better. This is the best round of golf the girls have played all year long and it came at the right time because we needed this to advance to the regional tournament.”
The Lady Eagles entered Wednesday in third place, two strokes behind Geronimo Navarro. The Panthers would go on to shoot a 393 on the second day of the tournament to put them four strokes behind Pleasanton.
Pleasanton got a big push on the girl’s side from senior Lacey Stevens’ opening-round 79, which led the field. The senior would go on to shoot an 80 in the final round and place second overall.
Even though the senior finished as a medalist, she was looking back at how she could’ve won the tournament.
“The worst part of my game was my short game,” Stevens said. “But the best part was my driving. I was setting myself up for good approach shots, but I just couldn’t follow through with my putts and chips.”
Sophomore Sadie McAda delivered the lion’s share of that comeback, shaving off 12 strokes from her first round to shoot a career-best 85 in the final round. Blaise Diaz dropped four strokes from her opening round to shoot 110 on the final day. Victoria Urbanczyk dropped two strokes to shoot 115 and help the Lady Eagles qualify for the regional tournament.
McAda rallied on the back nine to shoot 41 after taking a nine on the par-4 12th. She would bounce back on the par-5 15th with a 300-yard drive that allowed her to get around the green in two shots. She would eventually make a tap-in birdie.
“It really boosted my confidence,” McAda said of the 15th hole. “It helped me decide other putts, as well. It’s important to get the ball close to the hole when you’re going for birdie.”
Once Stevens found out that McAda delivered her career-best round, the senior ran out to the parking lot to share the celebration with her teammate. After having the season cut short due to COVID a year ago, Stevens desperately wanted the team to make regionals.
“It’s awesome because I’ve been to regionals my freshman and sophomore years,” Stevens said. “It’s great to go … as a team. It’s cool.”
The Eagles won their seventh consecutive tournament with their district championship. Senior Travis Garcia delivered a final-round 72 to bring his two-day total to 145 and win first place overall. Fellow senior Matt Garcia finished second place with a two-day score of 159, which included a 79 in the final round.
It was a good feeling to sweep the team title and the top two individual medals.
“It’s pretty nice. I feel really good about it,” Travis Garcia said. “I have to be humble about it. But I feel really good, I feel really confident about regionals coming up.”
The Eagles expected to win, but they didn’t expect to deliver a new season-low. Jake Casias helped spur Pleasanton to their 311 by shaving four strokes off his opening-day score of 84.
“We expected to win, but not in the fashion we did,” Matt Garcia said. “We all kept positive attitudes out there. We cheered each other on.”
Pleasanton had a chance to sweep the top three individual spots with Reed Foster. Foster shot a two-day total of 160 and tied with La Vernia’s Braden Pierce. Pierce would prevail after two playoff holes.
The girl’s regional tournament is scheduled for April 19-20 at Victoria’s Colony Creek Golf Course. The boy’s will compete at the same course April 21-22.
Boys: “A” Travis Garcia (73-72-145), Reed Foster (80-80-160), Matt Garcia (80-79-159), Jake Casias (84-80-164), Brady Stevens (82-90-172); “B” Trent Crady (102-100-202), Levi Turner (94-101-195), Austin Ludlam (109-101-210), Malaquias Gutierrez (106-103-209)
Girls: Lacey Stevens (79-80-159), Sadie McAda (97-85-182), Blaise Diaz (114-110-224), Ashlyn Vera (112-112-224) Victoria Urbanczyk (117-115-232)