Rain left, sunshine returned and Buchanan High’s Hannah Lovering brought her powerful game Tuesday and let it rip in the Central Section Girls Golf Championship at Valley Oaks Golf Course.
The senior had already qualified with her team for the Southern California Championship on Nov. 12 at Jurupa’s Goose Creek Golf Course, and that influenced her strategy on a 60-degree day that saw her fire a 1-over 74 to win the title by one stroke over defending champion Lexi Keene of Stockdale.
“I just got up this morning thinking, ‘Go for it or go home,’ because I was already qualified for SoCal,” said Lovering, who had tied for sixth in last year’s tournament at Taft’s Buena Vista Golf Course.
Her round included three birdies and four bogeys along with 11 pars.
Valley Oaks played long and soft with minimal ball roll following Monday’s heavy rainstorm.
“That played to Hannah’s advantage because she’s already long,” Bears coach Greg Funk said. “Her drives are a legitimate 275 (yards). She has all the shots and puts in the time. I thought this was going to happen with her every week.”
Clovis West’s Aya Enkoji (76), Clovis North’s Tammy Lim (76), Lemoore’s Dani Kinder (77) and Clovis’ Hayden Mammen (77) rounded out the top six as Tri-River Athletic Conference representatives dominated as expected.
Kinder, out of the West Yosemite League and playing on a familiar course, had placed third last year.
Clovis West and Buchanan, which finished 1-2 for the section’s Division I team title, had already qualified as teams for the SoCal tournament. The top 12 players outside of those teams in Tuesday’s championship also qualified for SoCal as individuals.
Girls golf: 2015 Central Section Individual Championship
Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Valley Oaks Golf Course in Visalia, par 73
^Hannah Lovering, Buchanan, 74
#Lexi Keene, Stockdale, 75
^Aya Enkoji, Clovis West, 76
#Tammy Lim, Clovis North, 76
#Dani Kinder, Lemoore, 77
#Hayden Mammen, Clovis, 77
#Madi Daniel, Bakersfield Christian, 79
#Taytlyn Alavarez, Liberty-Bakersfield, 79
^Allyson Musser, Clovis West, 79
#Liz Randle, Edison, 79
#Morgan Polley, Clovis East, 82
#Sara Hensley, Redwood, 82
#Carly Trujillo, Redwood, 83
#Maddy Laval, Memorial, 83
#Misha Vega, Porterville, 84
^ Qualified for Southern California Championship with team
# Qualified for Southern California Championship as individual