SPOKANE - Lady Grizzly freshman Nicole Southern was 13 strokes away from qualifying for this year's 3A State golf tournament.
Despite the 115 (55-60) she carded at Spokane's Hangman Valley Golf Course in yesterday's District tournament, which was the low round for Sunnyside, the freshman appears to have a bright future ahead of her.
Sunnyside Golf Coach Gary Rohde said Southern, by working on her game over the course of the next year or two, could easily find herself at the State tourney before her senior year.
"When I've been out practicing with her, Nicole putts extremely well," said Rohde. "Once she starts to get some length on her drives and fairway shots, she should be right there."
To make it to State this year, it turned out Monday's District competitors needed a 102 or lower to advance. Actually, there were four girls who posted 102's, which necessitated a four-way playoff for the 11th and 12th spots to State.
Spokane's 3A league dominated this year's District tourney, as eight of the 12 girls who advanced to State were from there. Yesterday's District medalist was East Valley/Spokane's Ashley Saffle, who toured the par-71 course with an 11-over 82.
The low Mid-Valley League scorer at Hangman Valley was West Valley's Ashley Filliol, who posted a 91. Also qualifying for State from the Mid-Valley League were West Valley's Betsy Yergen (95) and Holly Berndt (101), and Hanford's Kim Grytness (98).
Sunnyside's Megan Downing and Dacia Drollinger both scored in the 130's yesterday in posting the Lady Grizzlies' second and third low individual rounds at District. Approximately 20 strokes higher were teammates Vicky Castro and Emily Shuttleworth.