E.A. Sports Today

Driven to succeed

Spain Park wins Glencoe’s Yellow Jacket Invitational, motivated Waldrop wins her third tournament of the season

Spain Park’s Caroline Waldrop pitches back onto the fifth green of the Mindbreaker 9 during Thursday’s Yellow Jacket Invitational. The shot hit the flagstick, leaving the medalist with a short birdie putt that got her to 4-under for the round.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES – Caroline Waldrop takes a lot of motivation with her every time she goes on the golf course with her Spain Park teammates.

For starters there’s the burn of making it to the state championship last year and not being able to close the deal. Then there’s the desire to overcome losing another top player from their lineup over an academic issue. And finally there’s the drive to bring it home for best friend and teammate M.K. Horton in her senior year.

With all that fueling the fire, Waldrop shot 1-under-par 71 Thursday to win her third tournament of the season and lead the Lady Jags to the team win in the fifth annual Yellow Jacket Invitational at Silver Lakes.

The Lady Jags shot 231 as a team and won by 12 shots over Auburn. Waldrop won by three over Auburn’s Elisabeth Preus. Horton was third at 78.

“This year is definitely about recovering from our state from last year,” Waldrop said. “We had a rocky encounter, not a lot of good scores, so it’s definitely one of those revenge years.

“Our team is one big, happy family. That motivates me to put more time in to whatever I have to do and work harder … not just for me but helping this team out in any way I can.”

The win was the Lady Jags’ second this week; they won Monday in Prattville. Waldrop, a junior already committed to Western Kentucky, was medalist there with a 73. She shared medalist honors with Preus in their season-opener at Auburn.

“As the season progresses, the play from my kids has always gotten better,” Lady Jags coach Kelly Holland said. “I tell them all the time you guys are self-motivated. You know what you need to do work on, you work on it and you’re going to improve. We always seem to get better. Golf is a long season, but as we get closer to the end they really get focused in.”

That’s what made last year’s showing in the state finals so disappointing. The Lady Jags were on a roll coming out of sub-state, but they just weren’t up to snuff at Hampton Cove.

Waldrop went into Thursday’s round with the idea of just enjoying the day and that relaxed approach – along with her length off the tee — paid off with tap-in birdies on her first two holes on the Heartbreaker 9.

She had it to 4-under after nearly holing out for eagle from behind the green on the par-5 Mindbreaker fifth, but came back to the field playing the final four holes in 3-over. Still, even with two three-putts on those closing holes she had only 29 putts in the round.

“I just think she has an incredible approach to the game; it’s real easy-going,” Holland said. “She doesn’t put a lot of pressure on herself; if she does you don’t know it. That expression doesn’t change. She just keeps working and keeps managing the course.”

At Silver Lakes
Spain Park 231
Auburn 243
Hoover 252
Westbrook Christian 264
Trinity Presbyterian 290
Scottsboro 298
White Plains 301
Oak Mountain 308
Oxford 319
James Clemens 338
West Blocton 383
Gadsden City 390
Fort Payne 400
Pleasant Valley 426
Hokes Bluff 437
Bob Jones 438

Caroline Waldrop, Spain Park 71
Elisabeth Preus, Auburn 74
Mary Katherine Horton, Spain Park 78
Julie Baker, Hoover 79
Sophie Burks, Trinity Pres 81
Carson McKie, Hoover 82
Marilyn Steed, Spain Park 82
Cailyn Hyun, Auburn 84
Hope Cone, Westbrook 85
Morgan Jones, Auburn 85
Alexis Chambers, Fort Payne 85
Hannah Dyar, White Plains 86
Caroline McCabe, Spain Park 87
Ellie Porter, Westbrook 88
Lauren Choi, Spain Park 89
Sarah Hartsell, Oak Mountain 89
Taylor Lever, James Clemens 89
Kylie Tucker, Scottsboro 89
Lauren Cole, Glencoe 91
Emily Baker, Hoover 91
Sydney Fairchild, Westbrook 91

Caroline Waldrop 71, Mary Katherine Horton 78, Marilyn Steed 82, Caroline McCabe 87.
AUBURN (243): Elisabeth Preus 74, Cailyn Hyun 84, Morgan Jones 85, Sylvia Battye 103.
HOOVER (252): Julie Baker 79, Carson McKie 82, Helen Lunsford 99, Emily Baker 91.
WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN (264): Hope Cone 85, Ellie Porter 88, Sydney Fairchild 91, Gracie Guyton 92.
TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN (290): Sophie Burks 81, Emma Pittman 94, Tatum Willis 126, Mary Grace Etheredge 115.
SCOTTSBORO (298): Kylie Tucker 89, Lily Evans 102, Maddy Childress 107, Braylee Childress 127.
WHITE PLAINS (301): Hannah Dyar 86, Lexee Cunningham 104, Ary Rosario 134, Baylie Webb 111.
OAK MOUNTAIN (308): Sarah Hartsell 89, Kayla Adams 102, Bella Carlisle 117, Savannah Waldon 143.
OXFORD (319): Kayla Huckeba 98, Anna Bolton 110, Baylee Reaves 111.
JAMES CLEMENS (338): Callie Horne 124, Taylor Lever 89, Sydney Spier 144, Emma Kate Carroll 125.
WEST BLOCTON (383): Haley McElroy 127, Taylor Loggins 128, Jesslyn White 128, Kaywin Rice 151.
GADSDEN CITY (390): Alana Mulkey WD, Audria Wood 122, Haley James 126, Cierra Jones 142.
FORT PAYNE (400): Alexis Chambers 85, Lilly Martin 160, Meg Martin 155.
PLEASANT VALLEY (426): Sarah Ford 137, Gabby Fagan 136, Lauren Cobb 153.
HOKES BLUFF (437): Amber Bigelow 128, Abagail Reeves 160, Mazin Lowe 149.
BOB JONES (438): Lauryn Chadwick 139, Isabella Brengman 151, Caroline Lang 161, Allie Brown 148.
INDIVIDUALS: Lauren Choi, Spain Park 89; Lauren Cole, Glencoe 91; Jessica Shaw, Spain Park 95; Danielle Buompastore, Hoover 99; Abbie Vingers, Sacred Heart 109; Alex Pannell, Susan Moore 125; Lauren Weaver, Westbrook Christian 128; Anna Nichols, Westbrook Christian 133; Kaylyn Bagley, James Clemens 134; Caroline Thomas, James Clemens 135; Russell Givens, Cedar Bluff 138; Daisey Allen, Gadsden City 153; Avery Nunnally, Bob Jones 168.

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