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Goodling places 8th at States
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
After firing a birdie on her first hole Tuesday morning at the PIAA State Golf Championships at Heritage Hills in York, Haley Goodling invoked memories from the District Three Tournament.
There, the Manheim Central junior had birdies on her first three holes en route to a career-best 65 to claim the crown.
"I was like, ‘Hey, it’s Districts all over again,’" Goodling laughed. "But it wasn’t."
Unfortunately, the challenging back nine at Heritage Hills was a thorn in Goodling’s side, and she ended up shooting a second-day round of 9-over 81, giving her a two-day score of 163. But that was good enough for a solid eighth-place finish, just three strokes from finishing with a medal.
The top five finishers earned a medal, and Owen J. Roberts’ Maddie Sager (77-83) and Radnor’s Brynn Walker (80-80) tied for fifth place with 160. Mount Saint Joseph’s Isabella Dilisio won the title with a 148 (73-75).
"I have mixed feelings," Goodling said of her eighth-place finish. "I’m actually kinda proud of myself, but I still have mixed feelings. It wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t bad either. My goal was top-10 so I did that. That’s good."
It marked a significant step forward from a year ago, when she placed 16th in her first trip to States with a two-day score of 175.
"That was another one of my goals, to beat my score and my placement last year," Goodling said.
Following first-round action Monday, the Manheim Central star was seventh with an 82.
Then Goodling got a great start on day two, getting a birdie on par-4 hole No. 1.
"I hit my drive exactly where I wanted it," she said. "Then my approach shot, I think, was five feet away, and I was on the good side of the hole, so that helped me."
Goodling followed with bogey, par, par, bogey, sending her to par-4 hole No. 6, where she earned her second birdie, sinking a putt from four to five feet away.
"It was a hard putt, it was kinda downhill," she said. "But I managed to sink it somehow."
At the turn, Goodling was just 1-over with a 37.
"I’d say my irons were pretty decent and my driver for the most part was pretty good," she recalled.
Then on the back nine, things got a little bit tricky. Still, Goodling was in the top five until the par-4 17th hole, where she finished with a triple bogey.
"The back nine (at Heritage Hills) is so much harder for me," Goodling said. "I don’t know why. I guess there’s more trouble for me to get into. The greens overall are difficult, but the pin placements on the back were ridiculous. It’s a hard course and the back nine just got me every single time."
To her credit, Goodling recovered to par the 18th, nailing down her eighth-place finish. With that, she put a bow on a tremendous junior season, giving her hope to be in medal contention again at States in 2014.
"That would have been awesome (to win a medal), but I just wanted to get top 10," Goodling said. "Next year, a lot of those same girls will be returning, so it will be a tough competition. Last year I couldn’t play with them, but this year I’m doing better. I was able to keep up with them a little bit more, so hopefully next year I’ll be competing exactly with them."
More GOODLING, page B-8