Last April, Lexi Read opened the second round of the Class 3A Region II tournament at Tanglewood with four bogeys.
Then with one stroke turned her round around.
“I chipped in an eagle on the sixth hole. That’s when it all changed,” Read recalled Monday. “I had my lowest round in a tournament.”
Read posted a 77 to finish with a two-round 143 and second-place finish on the course outside Pottsboro.
Wednesday, the Bridgeport sophomore returns to Tanglewood for the opening round of the District 9-3A tournament. It’s also where she won the district tournament last year by 18 strokes.
“It’s all right,” Read said about the course. “I’ve played it six or seven times. I’ve just learned to play it from the times in the past.”
Read started hitting the links when she was 8 and began playing in tournaments at 12.
“My dad got me into it. I like it. It’s fun,” she said.
It’s that enjoyment of the sport that keeps her on the driving range several hours during the week and fills her weekends with practice rounds.
“I probably spend 20 hours per week practicing and over the weekend play a lot,” Read said. “I like spending my time out here.”
That work shows up on the course and helped her through a strong freshman campaign that concluded with a top-20 finish in the Class 3A golf championships.
“She works really hard at it,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “Any success is from the time she puts in.”
But when a round goes awry, Read is the one that is most critical of herself.
“There are no excuses made if it doesn’t go her way,” Green said.
After last year’s strong season, Read admitted that she entered this year with high expectations. She’s averaged an 85 this spring. She put together her lowest round of the season March 24 at Robson Ranch, shooting 80.
“I felt some pressure of playing good,” Read said. “I’m starting to learn from it. It’s all mental. You don’t get upset after a bad shot.”
While she’s not repeated her regional round so far this year, Green said she may be playing better overall.
“Scorewise she’s not scoring as well. But she’s hitting the ball more crisp,” Green said. “If her management gets better and she starts making some putts, she’ll really come on.”
Read points out that is was around district that her game came on last year as her driving improved. She now driving the ball between 220 and 230 yards.
“I’ve always had a good short game. My long game just started clicking,” Read said.
As she proved last year, a little competition also brings out the best in her.
“When someone is challenging me, that’s when I play my best,” Read said.