Ten years later, people still call Kate Moss Cowling “champ.”
“They will say here comes the state champion,” the 27-year-old mother of one acknowledged. “It’s nice to have that title.”
As a senior at Chico, Cowling earned that title with her two-round total of 161 in the Class 2A girls state final in 2004.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I don’t feel like it was that long ago,” she said.
Cowling began playing as a child and shined on the course throughout high school, claiming four straight district titles. She went to state as a sophomore, posting a top-15 finish. She was in the top 10 as a junior.
Before her senior year, she said there was pressure to bring home some hardware.
“I had been there and wanted to win it,” she recalled.
But the season didn’t get off to a great start as she suffered a stress fracture in her foot.
“I had to wear a weird shoe for a while,” she said.
In her third trip to Austin, Cowling blazed through the Jimmy Clay Golf Course in the first round, posting a tournament-best 79.
“I shot great and had a great first round,” she recalled.
Playing with the lead, she got off to another great start in the second round, posting a 37 on the front nine.
Then came a three-hour delay as a storm rolled in.
“We had several rain delays,” she said.
Over the final couple of holes, Cowling thought the state title was slipping away.
“I thought I had lost it in the last three holes. I came off the 18th crying thinking I had lost it,” she explained.
Off the course, she waited for what seemed like an eternity for all the other players to finish. When all the scores were in, she finished four strokes clear of Lago Vista’s Nicole Kunze and Wall’s Kyla Whitley.
“When I realized I had won state, I was speechless,” she said. “All the hard work and what my parents had pushed me to do had paid off. I shed a few more tears for exhaustion and overwhelming joy.
“I don’t think I’ll experience anything like that again.”
As a mother, Cowling said she doesn’t play golf as much as she used to but can still shoot in the 70s. Her phone does ring often with people looking to get her to fill their foursome in a scramble.
“I don’t get out as much as I used to. I’m married and have a kid,” Cowling said.
She hopes to pass the game down to her daughter Addilynn one day and also tell stories of her day as a champion. If she doesn’t tell her, someone else surely will.
“I’ll have that title for the rest of my life,” Cowling said.
- Against a brutal wind, Drew Jones posted a round of par Wednesday at Tanglewood Golf Resort. On an easier Turtle Hill Monday, the Decatur sophomore could threaten to break into the 60s with similar play on a vulnerable course after this week’s rain
- After two months of practice meets, district track meets will be next week with the area meets to follow April 16-18. I do prefer the current schedule with the area meets added before regionals. But few region meets are as tough as the Class 3A 9/10 area meet that will feature Celina, Decatur, Argyle, Frisco Lone Star, Sanger and Carrollton Ranchview
- The University Interscholastic League released realignment for the remainder of the spring sports this week, including what will be the 4A soccer district. Next year will be the first time the UIL has sponsored three classifications of soccer. Decatur landed in a league with Burkburnett, Springtown and Wichita Falls Hirschi
- Chico and Alvord athletic directors will be dizzy from traveling to different district meetings next year. The two are in 10-2A for baseball, 12-2A for softball and 11-2A for track, golf and tennis. They are also in different leagues for football, basketball and cross country
- Heading into the Final Four this weekend, Savannah the dog leads the Messenger pool. I don’t know what that says about our basketball knowledge