GIRLS PREP GOLF
SPANAWAY – Hannah Pond’s goal, simply put, was to make the cut for day-two action at the 2A State girls golf tournament last week.
Pond, a Grandview High School sophomore who can count her sub-100 rounds on a couple of fingers, slipped in under the wire on day-one and qualified for the finals.
The GHS underclassman opened the State tourney at The Classic Club in Spanaway by carding a 103. The cut line proved to be a 104.
She closed with a 114 on day-two, netting Pond a 40th-place finish from a field that initially numbered 80 girls.
“I’m very proud of how hard Hannah worked this year, and with the progress she made from the beginning of the season to how she finished,” said Grandview Coach Glenn Braman.
Pond and her coach trekked to the Spanaway course to get in a practice round last Tuesday. “They held State at the same course last year, and in doing a little checking we learned the cut line ended up being 104. So, we made that our target number.”
Pond came close on Tuesday, firing a 108 on front and back nines of 55-53.
“Seeing the course for the first time, and trying to figure out their large, undulating greens, we weren’t that unhappy with the 108,” Braman said.
The practice round paid dividends, as Pond opened day-one action at State on Wednesday by hitting the clubhouse turn with a 50.
“We knew she was in a pretty good spot at that point,” Braman said.
“After that opening nine, with Hannah being in the second to the last group, I kind of got into scoreboard watching,” he said.
Pond kept herself in the hunt coming down the stretch, although when she hit No. 17 it appeared all the work might have been for naught. After her drive and a fairway shot that came up well short, her approach shot landed in a grassy bunker, and she barely managed to chunk her ball from it, catching the front corner of the green.
Facing a long, twisting putt for bogey, Pond read it perfectly and struck the ball even sweeter, sending it into the bottom of the cup.
“It was a huge putt for bogey,” Braman said. “It gave her a little breathing room.
“She doubled the last hole, which got her in with a 53…one shot below the cut line.”
Pond went out with the second group Thursday morning, just after 7 a.m. in chilly and damp conditions.
“After grinding it out on day one, with the stress, and then up early in less than ideal weather conditions, Hannah never was on top of her game on day two,” said Braman. “She took a few big numbers on a couple of holes, which she had avoided the first day.”
Pond made the turn at 58, then nearly mirrored that score with a 56 on the back side.
“Thinking things through out on the course, and even her swing, Hannah was just kind of tired on Thursday.
“The good thing, though, is that it was a good experience for her to see what it takes to compete at a two-day tournament,” Braman said.
Braman also noted that Pond, who grabbed the 12th spot at District from the 14 girls who qualified for State, was one of only five of those 14 who moved on to day-two action at Spanaway last week.
“From the District tournament to State, Hannah improved, just as she has done all season long,” said Braman.
“With a couple more years left, she has the potential to accomplish some good things,” he said.