Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Wise Shoots New Low Round

Kimball Longhorn Girls Headed To State Golf Tournament

Payton Wise Shot a new personal best 18 holes of golf to better her own Kimball High School record and the Kimball girls finished 3rd at the District Tournament held at Crandell Creek Golf Course in Ogallala Monday to qualify for the State Tournament in Columbus to be played this Monday-Tuesday.

Coach Katie Culek said, "I am so proud of the girls as they came together to shoot their best team score of the season, and they got the job done. Payton had an all-time best round to better her own school record and she did it on her final putt of the tournament making a long 10 footer as all of us stood there watching with our fingers crossed, and she drained it. So proud of her, and all the girls."

The top three teams and the top 10 individuals qualify to advance to the state tournament play and Mitchell took top team honors at Ogallala shooting 386 followed by Valentine at 392, and Kimball with a 394. Other team scores were Gordon/Rushville in 4th with 422, Ogallala 434, Bridgeport 447, Garden County 455, Perkins County 483, and Hershey 554. Bayard, Creek Valley, Dundy County, and Mullen had golfers but no team scores.

There was no question who the top individual was as Payton Wise won by 12 strokes over Danielle Nolde of home course Ogallala who finished runner up with her round of 88. A year ago, Wise also captured the 1st place and medalist honors as she and her sophomore classmate, Katie Heeg, both qualified as individuals for the state tournament. They would have repeated this season as individuals also as Heeg finished 7th in the individual top ten medal group with her round of 98!

For the sake of the record books, Wise score card read... 443445444=36 443554645=40=76. Katie Heeg shot 50+48=98, Brooklin Golding 58+49=107, and Maddie Cook 57+56=113. The top 4 scores are added for the team score, but each team can play 5 golfers. Sophomore Keara O'Brien also shot a very good round at District finishing with 120 and these are the five girls Coach Culek will take to the State Tournament.

The other girls finishing in the top ten medal group were Shauna Radent-Valentine 3rd at 91, Jacqueline – Mitchell 4th 93, Lexi Schledewitz – Mitchell 5th 94, Abigail Bruns – Gordon/Rushville 6th 95, Kaetryn Bancroft – Valentine 8th 99, McKinley Knotts – Mitchell 9th 99, and Jessica Folchert – Ogallala 10th 99.

In a conversation I had with Payton Wise when she arrived back home in Kimball, I asked her how this round of golf ranked in the exciting wins she has put together in her young golf career. "Oh, this was the best. It is my PR."

Did you know what it would mean if you made that last long putt, I asked?

"I really didn't as I was not keeping score at that time" Payton said. You must have had everything working today, I said. "Yes, once I figured out how to try and handle the wind. The wind was horrible," she said. "I hadn't shot in the 70s yet this season and this was my goal going into District to shoot a round in the 70s and I am glad I did this, met my goal, and at the same time shot my PR round," Payton concluded.

The team will leave Kimball on Saturday headed to Columbus where they will spend the night Saturday, then play a practice round on Sunday, and then play State Tournament golf Monday-Tuesday.