Hounds place third: Burson takes fourth overall

ATASCADERO — On Wednesday, girls varsity golfers converged on Chalk Mountain Golf Course from Atascadero, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Arroyo Grande to compete in PAC 8 League Finals. Only a few strokes separated the top teams as the competition really picked up on the back nine. For the first time this season, the girls played a full 18 holes in competition and this year Atascadero was the host, which is why the event was held at Chalk Mountain.

The Greyhounds finished third overall, shooting a 514 combined score, barely beating out the Eagles of Arroyo Grande that shot a 515. Atascadero only finished 11 strokes behind the second place team in Righetti which shot a 503 overall. San Luis Obispo won league shooting a 499 combined team score, and also had the low round of the day on there team in Isabel Carpenter who shot an 80.

As she has all season, freshman Katie Burson led the Greyhounds and played in the first group on Wednesday. After struggling a bit on her first couple of holes she found her groove as she advanced to the back nine and ended her afternoon shooting an 83 with a 43 on the front nine and a 40 on the back. Only three strokes separated first place from fourth place on Wednesday. Burson finished fourth, however, all three girls that finished in front of her are seniors and will be graduating this spring, leaving the door wide open for her for the next three years. Atascadero number two golfer Abbey Hurst finished her round shooting a 94 overall and recording a 44 on the front nine and 50 on the back nine. Julia Smith, who played out of Atascadero’s sixth spot, was crucial  in Wednesday’s third place finish, shooting a 111 overall and ending with the third best score for the Hounds. Ashlyn Brookeshire, Alyssa Melendez and Kaitlyn Ramos each shot 113’s for the Greyhounds.

The Greyhounds had the advantage at league finals this year by playing on their home course and being able to at least practice the back nine. Many of the girls had trouble navigating the back with the famous cardiac hill on hole 13 presenting a number of issues for many players. Burson’s 40 was the lowest round on the back nine by two strokes. That’s how close this tournament was — had Burson shot in the 30s like she normally does on the front nine, she would have almost certainly finished with the lowest score.

Paso Robles finished in fifth place, St. Joseph finished in sixth place, Pioneer Valley finished in seventh place and Mission Prep finished in eighth place, but only had one golfer, and she shot an 82.


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