HUTCHINSON – It was a pretty good Monday at the golf course for the Barton women. Problem was, Sunday wasn’t as kind.
The Cougars posted the best score of the Region VI Tournament Monday afternoon at Carey Park in Hutchinson. But the 19-stroke deficit the Cougars put themselves in on Sunday was too much to overcome.
Barton finished second in the region with a 2-day total of 647. Dodge City won the meet with a 631. Coffeyville was a distant third at 724.
“We really played well as a team Monday,” Coach Doug Kaiser said. “We just got too far behind the first day. But I was so proud of the girls the way they played the second day. They gave themselves a chance. Dodge City just shoot pretty good as well the second day.
“The 308 is the best score for the girls team since I’ve been coaching here and may be the best score a girls’ team has ever shot at Barton.”
Barton freshman Mutita Booranakunamanee won the meet after shooting a blistering 1-under par 71 Monday. That allowed her to overcome a four stroke deficit heading into the second day and win by four.
Booranakunamanee finished at 8-over 152. She shot an 81 on the opening and day and came back with the best score during the meet with her 1-under. That beat our Napaknaree Sirihorn of Dodge City by four. Sirihorn shot 77-79 for a 156.
“New (Booranakunamanee) played really, really well the second day,” Coach Kaiser said. “She was striking the ball so well. To come from four back to win by four is pretty impressive.”
It was almost even better. Booranakunamanee missed a short putt on 16 for birdie and lipped out a birdie putt on 17 before getting a birdie on 18 to post the sub-par round. It is the fourth straight year a Cougar has won the individual title.
The Cougars also qualified as a team for the NJCAA Championships next month with four golfers making the top 10. The region does not have any automatic berths to the NJCAA Championships, just the top 10 individuals. Barton will not take five to Arizona, but four made the top 10, enough to post a team score.
Dodge City will have five going with one individual from Coffeyville earning the final spot.
“We would like to have five going, but four will allow us to post a team score,” Coach Kaiser said. “I am proud of the girls. This is the eighth straight year we will be taking a team to Nationals.”
Dodge City built a big lead after day one, shooting a 320 while the Cougars shot a 339. Day two saw both teams shoot much better scores as Barton carded the best score by any team during the meet with the 308. Dodge City shot a 311 the second day to hold on to its lead.
In addition to Booranakunamanee, the Cougars’ Lucia Rodriguez-Zapico, Vilma Efraimsson, and Kendra Jellison all earned Top 10 honors and will be making the trip to the NJCAA National Championships.
All three of those golfers shot a 79 the second day. Zapico finished tied for sixth after shooting an 84 the first day for a total of 163. Efraimsson and Jellison had identical 87-79 scorecards for a 166 and tied for eighth.
Miranda Kern rounded out the team with a 91-89 for a 180.
The Cougars also took five individuals to the event. Taylor Becker finished with a 183, Amy Akler shot a 184, Delaney Smith fired a 192, Sydney Kirmse ended with a 193 and Gracen Haar-Becker a 197.
The NJCAA Championships will be held May 14-17 at the Longbow Golf Course in Mesa, Ariz.