EPHRATA - There's close...and then there's CLOSE! Grandview High School sophomore Kayla Lucas couldn't have traversed a more taut tightrope than the one she tip-toed across yesterday.
Playing at the 2A CWAC District girls golf tournament at Ephrata's Lakeview Country Club, Lucas closed out her 18-hole round by parring the closing 18th hole.
As it turned out, said GHS Coach Doug Veach, Lucas needed that par to move on to the Regional tourney.
"Three girls tied for that last spot to Regionals with identical scores of 118," Veach said. "The par Kayla got on No. 18 gave her one of those three last spots."
No. 18 at the Ephrata course is a par-5 hole. Lucas, who shot a respectable 57 on the front nine, wasn't on a similar pace on the back side. Despite her back nine struggles, she came through when she needed to, sinking a six-foot or so putt to save par on the final hole. That gave her a 61 after the clubhouse turn, good enough to get Lucas to Regionals.
"I'm really happy for her," Veach said of Lucas earning the right to move on in the playoffs.
The next stop for the underclassman is Pullman's Palouse Ridge Golf Course. Regional play there is scheduled for next Monday, May 16.
Veach figures it will take a round of no more than 105 to have an opportunity to qualify for State. Lucas' lowest round ever is a 105, but it came on a course with a slope rating of only 111. The Pullman course has a slope rating of 126, "...which means Kayla will probably have to have the round of her life to move on," said Veach.