Washington tames Bulldogs

GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman

Macy Driscoll hits her approach shot to the first green.
GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman Macy Driscoll hits her approach shot to the first green.

The best golfers are never satisfied.

Washington’s Josie Tanner had just posted the second lowest score in Monday’s high school girls golf dual meet against Ottumwa at Washington Golf and Country Club.

Apparently that does not call for celebration. Instead, Tanner, who carded a 43, donned long pants (she played in shorts) and headed back out on the course to work on her game.

Washington defeated Ottumwa 196-213, but it was the Demons’ highest score in three dual meets so far.

“Our young ones found it very difficult today and had significantly higher scores,” Washington coach Len Kull said. “I’m surprised and disappointed because we should do better on our home course. We played well in practice.”

There was a hard blustery wind blowing north throughout the round, but it did not faze meet medalist Kiki Guo, who carded a 37 for the Demons which included two birdies.

But, of course, Guo was not satisfied with her score.

“I didn’t shoot too bad, but I feel like I should’ve done better,” Guo said. “I had a couple of bad holes. I three putted on hole number three when I should not have. On four, I usually use a three wood, but I used a driver and that went into the trees.”

There were positives.

“My irons were pretty good on par threes,” Guo said. She put her tee shot on the fifth hole about five feet to the right of the pin. “The wind was going right to left, so I aimed to the right and the wind did the rest.”

“Everything was good but my putting,” Tanner said. “I three putted five times. I need to work on that. The only time the wind affected me is when I thought it would and I allowed for it, but it didn’t affect my shot like I thought it would. I would say that my iron shots and my drives were pretty good. I had a drive on hole eight that was good and I only had about 40 yards to the pin.”

The wind did not make her cold in the shorts she was wearing either.

“No, I was feeling pretty good,” Tanner said. “I know Coach thought it was crazy that I was wearing shorts.”

Tanner headed back out to the course to work on all of her game, but especially one aspect.

“I just need to spend a day on the putting green. Or multiple days,” she said. “I don’t even know why, but my putting was just bad today. My brother showed up and that made me more mad because I wanted to beat his score from last time.”

Other scores for the Demons were Carly Burlingame’s 53, Emily Waite’s 63, Madison Fishback’s 67, Emma Nichols’ 73 and Macy Driscoll’s 74.

Coach Kull had a good news, bad news type of feeling after the meet.

“Kiki is developing into a fine golfer. I think she is one of the top three or four in the state. To have five three putts is a little atypical for Josie. Carly played a serviceable round. She is getting close to where we need her to be, which is 50 and below. I knew our young ones were going to have some lofty numbers that were high, but they’re working hard. I guess it is my job to work them and make them better, so that they lose their jitters and help them maintain focus. It’s hard to stay focused when you’re out on the course for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. That’s too long for a round.”

Tanner and Guo are happy the “young ones” are on their team.“I think the new players have come pretty far and they are going to be pretty good,” Guo said. “They are great teammates and we support each other.”

“It’s fun to have new people,” Tanner said. “They are really good listeners. They are doing whatever they can to make themselves better. They are improving a lot. It’s awesome to see them get even one stroke better. It makes me happy.”

Guo has a double goal in improving her game.

“Hopefully I can keep shooting these low scores,” she said. “What I’m really shooting for is for the whole team to make it to state.”

The Demons will get a test Thursday with a tournament at Oskaloosa, which will be 18 holes.

“I think some of our newer players will hit a wall at about the 12th hole, but that’s all right because it is still early in the season,” Kull said. “That is a big tournament with 14 teams that are some real good competition.”