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Goodling takes 5th at Districts to advance
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
You could hardly blame Haley Goodling if she had some mixed emotions after last weekend’s District Three Triple-A Girls Golf Championships.
Although the Manheim Central sophomore improved her score by six strokes from last year, carding a two-day total of 161 (80-81), she actually finished three spots worse in the final standings, taking fifth place overall at Briarwood West Golf Course. Conrad Weiser’s Elizabeth McGarrigle won the title with a 6-over 146 (72-74) on the 5,714-yard course.
"I found that pretty interesting," Goodling said. "But a lot of the girls from last year really improved. I think the low score last year was mid to high 70’s. But this year, (McGarrigle) had a total of 6-over between the two days, so that was really hard to compete with."
The bottom line for Goodling, however, was that she punched her second straight ticket to the PIAA Eastern Regionals, set for next Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood.
"My goal was definitely to make it to Regionals," Goodling said, "but I was hoping maybe to place in the top three because last year, I placed second, and so I thought maybe I could try it again. I got fifth overall, which alright, I’m happy with that. And I made it to Regionals, so I’m happy with it."
Considering Goodling didn’t feel like she played her best golf on the opening day of Districts last Friday, she was happy to advance to the second round of competition. After shooting a back nine score of 39, she finished with an 81 to tie for fourth place with Manheim Township’s Mary Beth Palic and Ephrata’s Lacey Bensing, nine strokes ahead of the cut.
I felt pretty confident going into the second day," Goodling said, "mainly because I knew I could play so much better. And even though I only improved by one stroke, I felt like overall I played better."
In general, she has also been playing better than she was a year ago, the by-product of a lot of training since her fall season ended in 2011. Goodling is hitting the ball further, her shots have been more accurate and her short game has made steady progress.
"I’m making more putts, I’m getting them closer and my chipping has been a little better," Goodling said.
On Saturday, although there were a few putts that she would have liked back, her short game contributed to her playing better on the second day at Districts. She also had a solid performance on the front nine.
"I would say that my shots were closer to where I wanted them to be (Saturday)," Goodling remarked. "My short game was pretty good. My long distance putting was decent, making them easy for me to two-putt every green."
Hole 11 was one in which she had some success at Briarwood. She fired an eagle on that hole during Friday’s opening round and then came back with a par on Saturday.
"I got a par on Saturday, which kinda disappointed me because I knew I could play better," Goodling said. "But a par, I’m fine with that."
Overall, eight Triple-A girls advanced to the Regional Championships, with Goodling being one of four L-L competitors. The others are Palic (3rd, 16-over 156), Bensing (6th, 23-over 163) and Manheim Township’s Meg Palic (7th, 24-over 164).
"Not too bad actually," Goodling said of her round. "I feel like I could have played better, as we always do. I had some high moments and some low moments."
She is hoping to have more high moments at Regionals and extend her season to States.
"I don’t know if I have many goals other than just to make it through to the next round," Goodling said. "It depends because it’s only a one-day round, so that makes it more difficult for all of us because if we have a bad day, then we’re done." More GOODLING, page B-3