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Householder advances to Sectional tournament

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eric Wade/Daily Mail Nevada's Michael Jones takes a swing during Tuesday's Class 1, District 4 tournament at Marshfield Country Club. Jones was unable to finish the tournament after being forced to withdraw early due to an injured knee.
By Eric Wade

Nevada Daily Mail

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- On a cloudless day with a cool northwest breeze, nine schools pulled into Marshfield Country Club for the Class 1, District 4 tournament.

Among those schools was a confident Nevada Lady Tigers squad with head coach Brian Leonard. The Lady Tigers came into the day with high hopes of advancing at least two players to the Sectional tournament that is scheduled to be hosted by Nevada next week.

The par-70 course, with its wide open fairways and five acres of water hazards provided a number of unique challenges for all of the participants involved in the tournament. The course features out-of-bounds stakes lining every hole, as well as several well-positioned sand bunkers and a flat front nine holes with a rolling back nine, giving golfers a tough challenge at nearly every turn.

The Lady Tigers got a preview of the course earlier in the regular season when they traveled to Marshfield for a tournament on Sept. 10. Leonard was very pleased with their performance in that tournament, though the Lady Tigers only managed a seventh-place finish as a team.

Michael Jones finished with her best outing of the year up to that point as she posted a 35-over 105. Hannah Householder and Danielle Smith led the way for the Lady Tigers that day, finishing at 95 and 96, respectively.

This time around, however, things went very differently for the Lady Tigers as Householder was the only one of Nevada's golfers to qualify for the Sectional tournament. Householder finished in a tie for sixth place overall, with a 26-over 96.

"I thought maybe we might have more, but things happen," Leonard said. "I understand that."

That score was more than good enough to move Householder on, but Leonard said he has even higher hopes for her when she enters the Class 1, Sectional 2 tournament on Monday. "I'm hoping maybe she can shoot a 90 or a 92 at Nevada and that should get her to state," Leonard said.

The two biggest causes for confusion in Leonard's mind Tuesday were the struggles of Smith and Maddie Johnson. After posting scores that would have been more than enough to move on during the Lady Tigers' regular season trip to Marshfield, both players finished at 119, six strokes behind the cutoff point of 113. "I really don't know how to explain that," Leonard said.

Jones was unable to back up her previous performance at Marshfield, but for different and just as uncontrollable reasons. Leonard said Jones has had a "bad knee" all season and despite her strong desire to finish and post the best score she could, Leonard was forced to pull her out of competition.

Leonard said the injury doesn't appear serious, but Jones will still need some time to rest and heal, so she likely wouldn't have been able to compete had she posted a final score good enough to move on to Sectionals.

Things will only get tougher from this point on for Householder as she will now move on to face the toughest competition that both districts involved in the Class 1, Sectional 2 tournament have to offer, but Leonard's hopes are still high. The low-90s score that Leonard believes Householder to be capable of should be more than enough to move on to the state tournament.

"I believe our district is the toughest district of the two," It's going to have to be probably, I'm going to say 98 to get in."

The Class 1, Sectional 2 tournament is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 8, at 9 a.m., at the Frank E. Peters Municipal Golf Course.

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