E.A. Sports Today

Big breakthrough

Winning the county tournament represents a milestone for White Plains’ Dyar, but it’s not the end of the journey

White Plains medalist Hanna Dyar holds the finish on a shot from the fairway during the Calhoun County Tournament. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Hanna Dyar’s entire high school golf career had been building to Saturday, so when she talks about being the medalist in the Calhoun County Tournament shattering a ceiling of sorts she isn’t kidding.
The White Plains junior posted two solid rounds in the 70s this weekend and went wire-to-wire to become a county medalist for the first time leading the Lady Wildcats to a runaway fourth straight team title.

Hanna Dyar joined her sister Layne as a medalist of the Calhoun County Tournament. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

When Hanna’s sister Layne headed off to college in 2016 after the second of her back-to-back county titles, there was hope in their circles of a six-year Dyar Dynasty that would run all the way through Hanna’s senior year.
It hasn’t met that expectation, partly because Hanna’s approach wasn’t quite what it is now, but you could see the progression getting to this point. While the six-year monopoly on the crown hasn’t happened, she does have every chance to at least go out as a back-to-back champion like her sister and best friend.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “This has been a goal for me for so long and I didn’t execute my mental game in the past few years, so today I really mentally broke through.
“This season has been a total mental breakthrough, a completely total mental breakthrough. I’ve enjoyed it. I’m so excited for next year.”
If you follow the path of her career, it had to happen this year. As a seventh grader in Layne’s first county title year she finished 16th– just outside the threshold for all-county – with two rounds in the 90s. The next year she was third, eight shots behind Layne’s second title.
As a freshman she was second to Alexandria’s Abby Stevens, six shots off the pace. And last year she held the first-round lead, but finished fourth, three shots behind champion teammate Lexee Cunningham.
This weekend, playing on her home course, she led by three after an opening-round 77 and won by 10 over runner-up teammate Caitlin Lewis, who had a career weekend. The Lady Wildcats won the tournament by a whopping 119 strokes.
Don’t ask her what she shot, thought. It’s likely she couldn’t tell you, and that’s been a big part of her success.
“I think that got in my head a whole lot,” she said. “The past few years, especially the year before, I was focusing on how many (shots) I’m down; I was so focused on my score I forgot to take it shot-by-shot. But this year has been a total mental breakthrough for me.
“This year I’m literally not worried about my score so much. I don’t know what I shot. I’m so focused on shot-by-shot I don’t know what my score is and I just find it at the end and it’s working out so far.”

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