E.A. Sports Today

Historic victory

Northridge wins Yellow Jacket Invitational in historic playoff, Auburn’s Jones medalist with new putter; includes top scores
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Auburn sophomore Morgan Jones finally got comfortable with her new putter and was medalist for the first time this season and Northridge won the team title in the first playoff in tournament history headlining the seventh annual Yellow Jacket Invitational at Silver Lakes Thursday.

Jones, last year’s Class 7A South sub-state champion and state runner up, shot 2-under-par 70 over the Mindbreaker and Backbreaker nines and was low medalist by two strokes over Marilyn Steed of Spain Park. Virginia Ann Holmes of Trinity Presbyterian was third (74).

Northridge won its first tournament of the year on the second hole of an aggregate playoff on the Mindbreaker nine after tying with Spain Park at the end of regulation (245). Hoover finished third, missing the playoff by one shot.

Jones made six birdies in her round, made three in a row at one point, chipped in for one, nearly made an ace on Backbreaker No. 2 — her final hole of regulation — and shot 3-under 33 on that side. She switched to a custom-fit putter three tournaments ago and was finally making the four-footers set up by her sharp iron play Thursday that she was missing with the old, lighter blade.

“I just switched after like three years with my old one so this is really big for me, especially with the putts I made today,” she said. “It kind of proved the switch is what I should have done, but I’m not looking back. It had gotten progressively better with each tournament, but this was like the best it’s been.”

The team playoff, aggregate scoring among each team’s top three counters, went two holes. Both teams scored 12 on Mindbreaker 9. The regression then went to No. 8 where Northridge’s Jags totaled 15 to Spain Park’s 17. Northridge sophomore No. 3 Mary Katherine Lee’s bogey to Spain Park’s Taylor Trible’s double was the difference.

The winning Lady Jags counted a 77 from Caroline MacVicar, an 80 from Kate MacVicar and a “solid” 88 from Lee during the 18 holes of regulation.

“I think the third score is always one of the most important scores,” Lee said. “There’s definitely room for improvement on my part, but I think I just pulled through. It was really close. We were standing up there just kind of hoping who’s gonna win, who’s gonna win, so it was really exciting to hear that we finally did.”

First-year Northridge coach Richard Nowell called the victory “a surprise” given the number of 7A teams here and the overall strength of the field.

“I didn’t know until the last Spain Park score went up,” he said. “It was thrilling, very exciting.”
Cover photo: Medalist Morgan Jones (C) goes over the round with her Auburn teammates.

At Silver Lakes
Team scores
x-Northridge     245
Spain Park         245
Hoover               246
Auburn               252
Trinity Pres        259
White Plains      263
Leeds                   273
Muscle Shoals    273
Hartselle             281
Oak Mountain   300
Glencoe               308
Gadsden City      315
Alexandria          366
Weaver                382
Oxford                 412
Hokes Bluff         451
x-won on second playoff hole
Individual top 25 scores
Morgan Jones, Aub         70
Marilyn Steed, SP            72
Virginia A. Holmes, TP   74
Elisabeth Preus, Aub       77
Jinger Heath, Harts          77
Caroline MacVicar, Nor 77
Elisa Howard, GC             78
Emily Baker, Hoov           79
Neysa Dechachtnun, Hoov       80
Kate MacVicar, Nor       80
Hanna Dyar, WP            81
Anna M. Hays, MS          83
Emma Pittman, TP         85
Robyn Blakey, Leeds      86
Taylor Trible, SP             86
Caroline McCabe, SP      87
Julia Freeman, Hoov      87
Baylie Webb, WP            87
Lauren Cole, Glen          88
Mary K. Lee, Nor            88
Sarah Hartsell, OM         89
Madelyn Friday, Syl        89
Sydney Hanson, Boaz     93
Lexee Cunninghm, WP  95
Caitlin Lewis, WP            98
Abby Gattis, WP               98

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