KEWANEE — Sophia Suarez and the Princeton Tigresses debuted with second place finishes in Thursday’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference Golf Tournament at Baker Park Golf Course in Kewanee.
Suarez finished just three strokes behind Kewanee’s Paige Dougherty, who fired a 90 on her home course.
The Tigresses came in at 407 as a team, scoring with Suarez (93), 11th place Audra Reidner (102), 12th Arraia Hicks (102) and 15th Sarah Crowe (107).
Still, there was some disappointment the Tigresses couldn’t land the top prize.
“I guess it’s little disappointing, but it’s still good,” Reidner said, noting the PHS girls had their eyes on first place.
“It’s a good accomplishment, (but) a little disappointing overall,” PHS coach Will Gross said. “We played (Erie) three times and had a close match and beat them. (Erie) played some outstanding golf today. We played solid; they just came out a little bit better on top.
“Second place in conference, nothing wrong with that. We’ve never had better than a fifth-place finish in a tournament. So you came out the first year in the conference, and we can get second — more power to us. Unlike these other teams, I’m returning all five girls next year, so it’s a perfect step to the future.”
Suarez was sailing along nicely until the final two holes of the day, when she carried a 7 on both. She still came in with her best 18-hole score of the season.
“It’s a little disappointing, since I lost some strokes on the last two holes,” she said after receiving a ride back to the clubhouse and a hug from her mother, Claire.
“She played great, from beginning to end, bad weather, tough course,” Gross said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way she played overall. She did everything I asked her, like she has all year. She came through really big for me today.”
Gross said it was tough for Suarez to keep up with Kewanee’s Dougherty, who had a home course advantage.
“Of course she’s going to have a 3 or 4 stroke advantage here, especially on the back 9,” he said. “Not to take anything from her shooting a 90. I think it’s always an advantage no matter how you look at. You got 47 other girls out here that don’t play at home, and she beat those 47.”
St. Bede finished fourth at 440, led by Gabby Mendoza’s fifth-place 96.
Also scoring for the Lady Bruins along with Gabby Mendoza were Sydney Eustice (105), Aiko Mendoza (112) and Tess Montez(127).
• BV boys: St. Bede’s Adam Lenkaitis.tied for second at 84 in the TRAC JV boys meet which was going on at the same time Thursday. The Bruins (396) placed sixth as a team.
Princeton and Hall tied for fourth (391) Bryce Nyman (94) and Colton Erven (96) were top scorers for PHS. Hall got a 90 from Malcom Bernabi.
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