West Ranch High junior Mack Bailey had two goals at the beginning of the girls golf season: get to the state individual championships and help her team to state.
On Thursday afternoon at the CIF-Southern Section WSCGA Team Qualifier/CIF-SS Individual Finals at Western Hills Country Club, she made progress toward one of the two.
Bailey is headed to the third round of individual playoffs, the CIF/WSCGA Southern State Regional Championship, but her team reached the end of the road.
“I just try to think of every putt as if it’s a practice run and it doesn’t really matter and then I don’t overthink it too much,” said Bailey of her performance. “I try not to get scared.”
The cutoff for individual golfers was a 6-over-80. Bailey scored a 3-over. Fellow Wildcat Ashley Mayhall carded a 13-over and Noelle Song, also of West Ranch, posted a 4-over. Song, who was there for the team event, will not move on, since her score in the first round of individual qualifying did not meet requirements.
The Cats had a team score of 439, which put them in 11th place. The top three teams moving on are La Serna High (397), Diamond Bar High (388) and Walnut High (390).
“Nothing was happening right,” Bailey said of team play. “It is a hard course. I don’t think our lower players have played something that hard before. It’s like TPC (Valencia) times 100. Really hard.”
The slopes of Western Hills were eased in the presence of Bailey’s experience. Years of tournament play and practice had prepared her.
She continued through the second round of individuals last year, but fell short in the third, the final stage before states.
“Last year I didn’t move on because of one stroke and my goal is to try to get to states,” Bailey said. “I don’t want to win, I just want to get there. So I’ve been practicing hard to fix everything to get there.”
The CIF/WSCGA Southern State Regional Championship will take place on Nov. 10 at Arrowhead Country Club in San Bernardino. A course Bailey has never been on before.
“I’m going to do a practice round,” she said. “Find the weaknesses of the course. But I think I should be fine. I just have to keep my head in and not think about everything else. I’m just going to think about the shot I’m doing at the moment.”