E.A. Sports Today

Dyar, White Plains lead County girls

White Plains sophomore hits brilliant shot from 18th fairway to grab individual lead in County Girls Tournament, helps Lady Wildcats grab team lead

Oxford’s Anna Bolton (center) checks her scorecard with White Plains’ Lexee Cunningham (right) and Alexandria’s Ashley Parker after shooting 81 in Friday’s opening round. On the cover, White Plains’ Hanna Dyar taps in her lead-grabbing birdie putt after nearly holing out from the fairway on 18.

At Anniston Country Club
First-round scores

Team scores
White Plains 248
Oxford 262
Alexandria 311
Weaver 326
Pleasant Valley 311
Jacksonville 359

Individual scores
Hanna Dyar, White Plains 80
Kayla Huckeba, Oxford 81
Anna Bolton, Oxford 81
Lexee Cunningham, White Plains 84
Baylie Webb, White Plains 84
Allison Arenth, White Plains 87
Gracie Muncher, Alexandria 96
Abby Gattis, White Plains 99
Kaylee Reaves, Oxford 100
Autumn Ray, Weaver 104
Ashley Parker, Alexandria 106
Caitlin Roland, Jacksonville 106
Gabby Fagan, Pleasant Valley 107
Cara Burgess, Weaver 107
Marley Wright, Pleasant Valley 108
Callie McFall, Jacksonville 108
Madison Chastain, Alexandria 109
Carmela Reese, Weaver 115
Gracey Davis, Pleasant Valley 116
Laura Knight, Pleasant Valley 116
Ella Floyd, Piedmont 119
Mahahla Beal, Pleasant Valley 132
Bella Reaves, Oxford 133
Briana Behel, Saks 135
Chloe Parris, Pleasant Valley 136
Makenzie Oliver, Jacksonville 145
Ceilia Reaves, Oxford 145
Demari Grant, Weaver 146
Abby Whisenant, Pleasant Valley 156

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

If White Plains sophomore Hanna Dyar goes on to win the Calhoun County Girls Golf Tournament at Anniston Country Club Saturday, she might consider donating her 9-iron like the winner does at the Masters because it’s likely to be the club that won her the title.

Much like Fred Couples’ play on 12 at the 1992 Masters or Shaun Micheel’s 7-iron to 4 inches on the 72nd hole of the 2003 PGA, the 9-iron Dyar hit from the 18th fairway Friday might be remembered as the shot of the tournament.

She nearly jarred it for 2 from 111 yards. The shot rattled the pin at the base and settled a few inches behind the cup. She tapped in the birdie that salvaged an otherwise “rough day” and gave her an 80 and the overnight individual lead.

She leads senior Oxford teammates Anna Bolton and Kayla Huckeba by a shot in the race for medalist. White Plains teammates Lexee Cunningham and Baylie Webb are tied at 84.

“I feel like today I didn’t play my game at all, I missed a lot of putt and didn’t hit as many good shots as I needed to, then on 18 it definitely gave me momentum,” Dyar said. “It made me feel good about myself and gave me some momentum for tomorrow … and made me believe in myself a little more. It took me 18 holes.”

What made the shot even more impactful is at the time Dyar was tied with Huckeba, her playing partner who just gained two shots with a birdie at the par-5 17th, and was even with Bolton, who was engaged in the best round of her short golf career one group behind.

“That was a big-time shot; that’s a shot that could win it for her,” White Plains assistant coach Justin Mallicoat said. “Those are the type of shots you have to hit in order to increase a lead or put pressure on the other player. Hanna is sitting there in the fairway and it’s her shot first and she hits it stiff; it adds a little bit of pressure on the next person to make a big shot. It’s always good to see kids do well and perform at a high level.”

Counting Dyar, junior Cunningham and eighth-grader Webb, the two-time defending champion Lady Wildcats shot a season-best 248 to lead the team competition. Led by Bolton and Huckeba, Oxford tied its best tournament team score ever (262) and is second.

“It’s always good to get off to a good start and have a lead,” Mallicoat said.

“I told them I was so happy because we did good at the county tournament,” Oxford coach and tournament director David Weeks said. “It sets us up down the road. It shows what we can do in sectionals and sub-state.”

The key to Bolton’s round was staying out of trouble and away from the big number. She was one shot out of the lead after a tap-in birdie at 9 from the bunker, but was out front by two four holes later. Dyar caught her on 15 and it was a logjam at the top until 18.

“I was just relaxed,” Bolton said. “It felt better than it usual does. It felt pretty good.”

Huckeba had “high hopes” coming into the round and with a little better luck on the greens might have been leading the tournament. She did make the birdie at 17 to grab a share of the lead, but had four other chances at birdie in the round – including a shot at eagle on 11 – but couldn’t convert.

Still, she likes her position going into the final round.

“I played an AJGO tournament at Highland Park last Saturday and ended up with a 79 there, so I was thinking I have it in me to shoot in the 70s,” she explained. “That has really helped mentally more than anything else.”

Leaders 444 334 445 35 453 454 354 37 72
H. Dyar 454 434 545 38 664 544 463 42 80
Huckeba 445 435 446 39 753 554 544 42 81
Bolton 545 435 454 39 553 555 464 42 81
B. Webb 455 445 565 43 563 553 455 41 84
Cunningham 656 424 546 42 473 554 554 42 84

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