Lucas wins state golf title

ZACHARY – Notre Dame sophomore Ali Lucas admittedly was nervous when the 2008 golf season began.

Now, she beams with confidence after rallying on the final day of the Division II State Golf Championships to take individual medalist honors in the biggest tournament of the year for high school girls.

A confident Lucas, who began the day four strokes back, calmly clawed her way back, overtaking the pack early in the day and posting a most improbable victory with a two-day total of 154.

Her 77-77 finish was three strokes better than the score of runnerup Taylor Griffin of Episcopal.

“I was extremely excited when I found out that I had won,” said Lucas, who has been playing golf for just over two years now. “I was nervous coming into this season because I had worked real hard over the summer, but then basketball started and I didn’t get to practice that much.

“For me to go from practicing all the time, to four months with hardly no practice, then to try and put it all back together in six weeks.....

“It was tough, but that made it that much better knowing that all my hard work had paid off.”

Lucas and teammate Courtney Camp, who has been playing golf for just three months now, placed sixth overall as a team.

For Lucas, the overall title eased the pain of last year’s regional in which she missed qualifying for the state tournament by one stroke.

“Missing the cut last year was a huge incentive heading into this season,” said Lucas. “Last year, I should have qualified, but I just didn’t play like I should have.”

Ouachita Christian’s Linden Anderson was the leader after an opening round score of 73. But that lead quickly slipped after a bogey on the first hole in the final round, followed by a quadruple bogey on the second hole.

Lucas grabbed the lead with a birdie on the second hole and never relinquished it.

Heading into 18, she had the title all but wrapped up with a three-stroke lead.

“Being three stokes up allowed me to play the hole very safe and I did,” said Lucas.

She two-putted for par on the final hole to wrap up a memorable day.

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