Goodling wins silver at L-L Girls TourneyGolf

By on September 28, 2011

By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer

Starting out, Haley Goodling’s goal was just to have fun on Monday.

But then as the Manheim Central freshman got going at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Girls Golf Championships and realized that her game was clicking, Goodling started to think about perhaps placing in the top five.

Turns out, she did even better than that.

Breaking 80 for the first-time ever, Goodling finished with a 6-over 76 and took home the silver medal at the Honeybrook Golf Club. Only Manheim Township’s Mary Beth Palic finished ahead of her, as the Blue Streaks’ junior carded an even-par 70 to capture the gold.

With her solid finish at the L-L’s, Goodling has punched her ticket to the District Three Triple-A Championships, which are slated for next Thursday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 8 at Briarwood East Golf Club in York. Warwick’s Hannah Riden will also be competing there after placing tied for 10th with Conestoga Valley’s Cayla McCarty with a 107 on Tuesday.

"I thought I played pretty well," Goodling said. "I didn’t hit many bad shots and I putted real well, so it just kinda all fit together today."

If she had any nerves playing in her first L-L Tournament, she certainly didn’t show it. Goodling showed consistency while posting 12 par finishes and keeping the bogeys to a minimum on a course she had played only once previously.

"I knew that it was pretty open and there was a lot of fescue everywhere, but there weren’t many trees, so I was just trying to hit it straight and not get it into any trouble," said Goodling, whose brother Brady placing 17th at States last year and is currently a freshman on the Monmouth University golf team.

She did a good job not only hitting the ball straight, but also sinking a lot of putts. Goodling’s success on the greens came as a surprise to her, although maybe it shouldn’t have, given the hard work she devoted to that area of her game on Monday at the Lebanon Country Club.

"Normally, (my strength) is my tee shots or par-3′s," Goodling said. "(Monday), I worked really hard at my putting and I was hoping it would show up today, but I wasn’t quite sure because the greens were very hard to read for me. But it turned out pretty decent. I just kept myself together."

Although Goodling was Manheim Central’s only golfer in the girls’ competition, she had a little bit of a comfort zone knowing the others in her foursome — Palic, Ephrata’s Lacey Bensing and Conestoga Valley’s Samara Yurchak. Goodling and Palic were friends after playing together at previous summer tournaments, and watching her play as well as she did might have helped Goodling to elevate her game.

"I was trying to keep up with her, (but) it was very hard," Goodling chuckled. "She was playing so well. I was just trying to give myself an easy chance. Every shot she’d make, I (thought), ‘OK, let’s do the same thing.’"

Goodling will now try to do the same thing at the District Championships next week.

"I don’t really know what to expect because it’s my first time," she said, "but I’m going to try to be within the top 10 now because I know more people will be competing and I don’t know many others outside of our league. So I’m just trying to do my best and have fun again." More GOODLING, page B-10

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