BASTROP, Texas — Last Monday and Tuesday, Wolfdancer Golf Club's green became a proving ground for the 12 best teams and 70 best individuals on the UIL 5A golf classification.
Midlothian High School junior Jasmine Zhang staked her claim as one of the five best golfers in the Lone Star State. She proved it 36 holes later, dominating one of the toughest courses high school golfers would brave all season.
The 18-hole and par 72 7,205-yard Audubon Internationally rated course designed by Arthur Hills and Associates featured multiple sand traps, rolling hills, ponds, streams and heavily wooded ridgelines.
Last season, 6A Austin Lake Travis High School's Kristen Gillman, Kaitlyn Papp, Morgan Lay, Sara Camarena and Lauren Comegys won team state gold and Kristen Gillman took first at the state competition individually. Midlothian, which as a part of District 8-6A during the 2015-16 season, did not have a competitor in the tournament.
This season, Midlothian competed in the 5A circuit and with the 2017 state champions Gabriella Tomanka, Anna Takahashi, Lauren Chasczewski, Avery Robertson, Alexia Saenz from Grapevine High School.
Zhang, the Lady Panthers only competitor and 1 of 6 in the city of Midlothian, finished tied for fifth with Humble Kingwood Park's Leah Alberto. Their two-day score of 153 fell three strokes or less behind Magnolia High School state champion Halle Whitney (150), Mansfield Lake Ridge High School second-place finisher Caitlyn Lindell (150) and Grapevine High School's Gabriella Tomanka (151) and Anna Takahashi (152).
Zhang's second-day score of 75 was at least one stroke better — in some cases between 3 to 6 — than any other player in the individual top 10 except Tomanka and Mission Sharyland's Raquel Flores.
Both Takashi and Tomanka, freshman, and Lindell, a junior, are expected to make a run at a state championship in 2018. With Head Coach and former state champion Laura Hargrove at her side, so is Zhang.
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI