On a partly rainy Monday in Lemoore, with temperatures in the low 60s, the Reedley College Tigers golf team played for one of two spots to advance to the State Championships next week.
In a format that matches the best teams from the Northern California region of the state, the Tigers finished the first round in first place and were in a great position to advance to the State Championships as a team.
Sierra College, five shots back, was in close proximity to the Tigers to qualify for the right to advance and try to earn a spot for next week.
“We came out and played very well, shooting a round of 317,” Coach Scott Stark said.
Stark said leading the way for the Tigers was freshman Katie Horsford, who posted one the best rounds of the tournament at 76, and Taylor Vaughn shot a solid round of 78.
Yosemite High 2015 graduate Jessica Rudd, the North Sequoia League Player of the Year last season, carded a round of 81, while Hailee Espinoza closed out the scoring for the Tigers with a round of 82.
Although the Tigers felt good about being the leaders after the opening round, they had to perform well again on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
On Tuesday, the Tigers were back on the course, this time starting their round as the last groups of the day, with temperatures in the 50s, and the wind blowing at about 15-20 mph.
Horsford continued to lead the Tigers, posting a solid two over par round of 74.
“Jessica (Rudd) fired a terrific round of 75, while Taylore (Vaughn) carded another 78, and Hailee (Espinoza) completed the scoring by posting an 85,” Stark said.
The 312 total was the best afternoon score posted by a team at the NorCal Championships by 13 strokes and left the Tigers as the Northern California Regional champions.
The Tigers finished at 629 strokes for the tournament, 21 strokes ahead of runner-up Sierra College. Also of note, Horsford’s score of 150 (+6) led her to be named the Individual Medalist for Northern California. Both Rudd and Vaughn finished in a tie for second place and received All-Northern California honors.
The Tigers took the top three places in the overall individual player standings, which was very respectable considering there were 42 golfers competing during the two-day championship.
The Tigers, with four freshman players, advanced to the State Championships at Morro Bay Golf Course Nov. 15 and 16.
Reedley finished third (696), behind Citrus (682), and Santa Barbara Community College (655). Carolin Chang of SBCC won the individual title with a two-day score of 151. Rudd finished 20th with a 174.