Arabian golf wins District 29-4A title

A solid two days of golf at Uvalde Golf Course gave the Devine Arabian golf team its second consecutive District 29-4A championship. The Arabians shot a 796 two-day total to beat second-place finisher Hondo who had a 901.
I am extremely proud of what all seven ladies were able to accomplish at the district meet. Earning consecutive district championships is special and it is something these players can remember for a long time. Next season will be a little different, as well as more difficult because we are losing four seniors after this season. Even though we will have our work cut out for us in 2020, we are going to enjoy this one until it is time to get back to work next season.
Kayla Busby led all with a two-day 162, which included a personal best 78 on the second day to put the finishing touches on her own personal back-to-back individual 29-4A championship. In ’18, Kayla shot a 173 (88/85) to win the title.
Kayla had more competition this season compared to last. Hondo freshman Mallory Matthews is a good, solid player. With Kayla matching up head to head with Mallory both days, it pushed Kayla to play her best. Just as Kayla is moving on after this season to play at the next level, Mallory’s name is one to remember as she moves up the high school ladder and on to higher levels of play.
Preslee Quisenberry’s two-day effort placed her third overall, with her personal-best 92 on the second day. She shot a 97 on the first day to finish with a 189 after shooting a 194 on the same course last season.
Similar to Kayla, Preslee playing with the “A-Group” the second day pushed her to her best score as a high school player. Going down the home stretch, back nine of the tournament, Kayla, Mallory, and Preslee put on quite a performance
Shelby Spivey shot a 220 (107/113) to finish sixth. Although Shelby hit a couple of rough patches throughout the tournament, her first day 107 helped expand the gap by eleven strokes between Devine and second place Hondo, who’s number three player shot a 118.
Lillie Weyel was consistent both days shooting a 115 and a 111 for a 226 overall. The 226 placed her in a tie for 7th place with Crystal City’s Ivy Lopez.
Paige Williamson did not quite have it the first day due to being under the weather the night before. She quickly erased the memory of a 129 to shoot a 112 the second day for 241.
Sierra Pompa, who just took up playing the sport after the conclusion of the Arabian basketball playoff run, shot a 127/123 to finish her short, but memorable high school career with a 250. If there was a way to go back in time and get Sierra on the course for at least one more season, there is no doubt in my mind that she would have qualified to play in next month’s regional tournament. She improved immensely over the year, which is directly related to her willingness to be coached and to put that teaching into action.
Sidney Weyel also decided to play after the season had already started. She shot a 135/125 for a two-day 260 but will definitely improve from this season to the next. As a first-time player, Sidney has learned many nuances of the game and is a great competitor who is not satisfied with just being good-enough. With practice, Sidney should be able to take off 10-15 strokes by the time next season rolls around.
An awesome finish
Devine’s Kayla Busby and Hondo’s Mallory Matthews put on a tremendous show throughout the tournament. Kayla is a long-ball hitter off the tee box and an excellent chipper and putter. Mallory is all about placement, and she places it well. Even though Mallory doesn’t hit it as deep as Kayla off the box, she is deadly from around 100-110 yards away from the flag.
Kayla had a two-stroke lead going into day two and built upon that lead through the first eight holes the second day. After a booming drive on #18 (the girls started on #10 on the second day), she had a couple of chip shots and putts go off target to finish with a seven on #18. Over the course of the next few holes, Mallory cut into the lead to get it back to a two-shot deficit with four holes to play.
On hole #6, all parts of Kayla’s game that she has worked on for a solid four years all came together for the last hour of the district tournament. On holes #6, #7, and #8 Kayla went deep with her drives, chipped or hit up to the green, then finished off with one-putts to birdie each of those holes to get a comfortable lead going into the final hole of the day.
I cannot tell if my recapitulation accurately tells how well these two played, how well they competed against each other, or how exciting and fun it was to watch these two players play the game with integrity and grit.
It was truly a site to see.
Team: 1st-Devine (403/393=796), 2nd-Hondo (466/435=901), 3rd-Carrizo Springs (493/474=967), 4th-Crystal City (502/489=991).
Individual top 8 and regional qualifiers: 1st-Kayla Busby (84/78=162). 2nd-Mallory Matthews-Hondo-86/84=170), 3rd-Preslee Quisenberry-Devine (97/92=189), 4th/RQ1-Esmerelda Martinez-Pearsall (107/104=211), 5th-Brylee Sweeten-Carrizo Springs (108/107=215), 6th-Shelby Spivey (107/113=220), T7th-Lillie Weyel-Devine (115/111=226), T7th-Ivy Lopez (114/112=226).
Next up: Regional Tournament at Corpus Christi Oso Beach on April 22 and 23.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer