SPORTS HEADLINES

Playing through; Bridgeport heads for greener fields in Austin

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, April 20, 2013

With clubs in hand, Bridgeport plans to show golfers in Austin just how tough Sissies can be.

ON-TO-STATE - Tiffany Hawkins, Haley Shinn, Lexi Reed and Remi Swensson are heading to the Class 3A State Golf Tournament after their third-place finish at regionals. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

ON-TO-STATE – Tiffany Hawkins, Haley Shinn, Lexi Reed and Remi Swensson are heading to the Class 3A State Golf Tournament after their third-place finish at regionals. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The Bridgeport Sissies seized third place with 787 in the Region II golf tournament at Tanglewood, securing a spot for state play. They came in behind Atlanta by only 12 strokes and behind Melissa by 45.

The Sissies were able to beat out the competition despite only having four golfers. Only four scores count toward state play, but many teams take five players and drop the highest score. Taking four also meant the Sissies had no backup.

“We only have four girls, and Haley got sick the first night and so for her to stick it out and play while not feeling well it was great,” coach Alan Green said. “It is an individual sport, but we went out as a team. Everybody contributed to us going.”

Haley Shinn did put up the highest number of strokes for the team with 125 and 119, but great play by her teammates shrank the disadvantage.

“It was good. I had never been there before, and we all tried really hard to get there,” Shinn said. “We practiced every day Monday through Friday and on the weekends. We got some good groups around us so there’s a lot of competition.”

Remi Swensson had her best round of the year on the first day at regionals with 94, and Lexi Read had her best day of the year on the second with 77. Green said Tiffany Hawkins has been consistent throughout and put up 90-88.

“Everybody brought different stuff to it, and it was a team game and a team aspect, and that is why we’re going to win,” Green said. “We practice at Runaway Bay, but all the credit goes to these girls and their parents for the countless hours of instruction and practice and just a lot of time and effort.

“Golf isn’t an easy game. It can be very frustrating. For them to put the time in and the effort, it is amazing.”

Each of the golfers said their families played a big part in how they play the game.

WINDY DAY - Tiffany Hawkins and the rest of the Sissies battled cool and windy conditions at the regional golf tournament. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

WINDY DAY – Tiffany Hawkins and the rest of the Sissies battled cool and windy conditions at the regional golf tournament. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“My dad and my uncle play a lot. After we moved down here there were a lot of places where we could play all year round which is really nice and it’s not as cold as up north,” Swensson said. “Golf is something I can do with my dad and it’s something we have in common. He’s really excited, and he is going to make it down there even though he works a lot.”

For Hawkins, this is her last chance to go to Austin. As a senior, she’s been working toward state play for four years.

“It went by fast. I went to regionals all four years, and finally I get to go to state,” said Hawkins. “I feel really rewarded by these girls taking me there. Last year we were in a different region, and our competition was at a higher level. I was an alternate as an individual to go, but never got to.”

Bridgeport just got out of Region I, which has several good golf programs, like Andrews, Snider and Monahans.

Green said Bridgeport’s team would need to pay particular attention to its short game, because a title could be won or lost on the green. However, he believes just experiencing state play is important.

“Those greens are very difficult and we will have to focus a 100 yards in. I think it’s going to be a new experience for all of us,” Green said.

“It’s very exciting to get there,” he continued. “So many athletes don’t get to experience going to state and just what a big deal it is. We’re going to compete, but we are going to make sure we enjoy the atmosphere and the experience.

“Bridgeport has had a really good golfing tradition and won state in 2002, and we want to keep that going.”

RESULTS

Name Day …1-2
Lexi Reed … 86-77
Tiffany Hawkins … 90-88
Remi Swensson … 94-108
Haley Shinn … 125-119

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