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By Josh Peterson, editor
Everything was better the second time around for Hollee Sadler last week.
The Central High School sophomore bounced back from a shaky first round in the TSSAA State Golf Tournament to post a 6-over-par 78 in the second round Wednesday and finished in 21st place in the entire state.
“I was more focused the second day, I think,” said Sadler, who was plagued with putter problems on her way to a 15-over-par 87 in the first round Tuesday.
But the second day was better from the start. Teeing off on the tough back nine at WillowBrook Golf Course on both days, Sadler turned a first day bogey into a day two par – thanks mostly to her putter and some better luck.
In the first round, Sadler’s drive on the par-4 no. 10 landed on a hill, leaving a bad lie on her approach and leading to a chunked second shot. Sadler eventually two-putted from 15 feet for bogey. On the second day – Sadler’s drive, in the same area, kicked off the hill and left her with a better approach shot. She two putted from 20 feet out, missing birdie by only a foot. And that was indicative of the remainder of the second round.
“I was putting better,” said Sadler. “I felt more confident and focused when I stepped up to the ball.”
She finished her first nine holes Wednesday at 2-over-par. A short par putt that lipped out on the par-3 17th could have made for an even better first nine. In comparison, she was 10-over-par on her opening nine holes Tuesday.
“It was amazing to play in a tournament like this against great competition,” she said. “That second day I was determined to do better. I think my pride was hurt a little after the first round.”
The first-year golfer finished with a total score of 165 – one shot out of finishing in the top 20 and good enough to move her from 26th after the first round to 21st.
Samantha Gotcher, a senior from Clarksville, won the tournament with a 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday and a 2-under-par 70 on Wednesday for a total of 141. Abbie Gregory of Beech finished a close second with a 144.
“I plan to work on my putting a lot this off season,” said Sadler. “I have to come back next year better on the green and if I do that I think I can get back and be more competitive.”