By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
Pulaski County High School junior Elsa Moberly has accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish on a golf course.
Moberly finished tied for third place in last year’s 2012 KHSAA Girls State Golf Tournament and placed tied for fourth place her freshman year in the 2011 KHSAA Girls State Tournament.
Moberly has qualified for several prestigious national events, including the 2013 US Girls’ Junior and the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships as well as the 2012 USGA (United States Golf Association) Junior Girls National Championships.
Moberly is the 41st nationally ranked player in the class of 2015 according to GolfWeek.com, and recently committed to play golf for Mississippi State University.
But the one title that has eluded Moberly for the past two years is the KHSAA Region 9 individual title. Moberly has finished in the second place spot in her previous two Region 9 appearances – with rounds of 76 in 2011 and 75 in 2012.
But on Tuesday at the Burnside Island State Park Golf Course, Moberly left nothing to chance. Moberly fired a 2-under-par 69 to claim her first Region 9 crown.
“I am excited to have won this region tournament,” Moberly gleamed. “The last couple of years have been stressful trying to win this tournament. So, I am happy to be able to win one. I have always went to state (tournament), but I have always wanted to win a regional title.”
Moberly, who has only been playing golf for about five years, made the turn at one-under par and picked up three more birdies on her first five holes on the back nine to lower he score to four-under-par.
But Moberly ran into a little trouble on the par-3 sixteenth hole, which slightly derailed her strong round. On the sixteenth hole, the golfer is forced to carry a large body of water to reach the putting surface.
“I was four-under and I really though I was getting a good round going, but I double bogeyed 16,” Moberly explained. “My ball landed on the rocks and I had to take my hazard and I took 5 on that hole.”
“I just wanted to finish strong coming in on the last two holes,” Moberly stated. “I really didn’t know where I stood with the other competitors on the course. I knew 69 would get me somewhere near the top, but I wasn’t sure if I had the low score of the tournament. Now that I know my 69 was the low score, I’m very happy.”
Moberly’s nearest competitor was Rockcastle County’s Hannabeth Owens, who shot an even-par 71. Moberly was the only local golfer to advance to the KHSAA Girls Golf State Tournament at Bowling Green Country Club on Thursday, Oct. 10 through Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Lady Maroons were in the running for a top-two finish and a trip to the state tournament, but struggled down the stretch and missed qualifying for the state tournament by a mere 8 strokes.
Pulaski finished fourth in the team rankings with a team total of 346 strokes. Russell County won the regional team title with 333 strokes, while Barbourville finished second at 338. The Southwestern Lady Warriors golf team finished 11th with 428 strokes.
For Pulaski, Kaylee Wilson shot an 88, Shelby Wesley shot a 93, Kelli Blount shot a 96, and Lexie Parks fired a 108.
For Southwestern, Mckenzie Mullins shot a 105, Ashley Chaney shot a 106, Breanna Owens shot a 107 and Samantha Dick shot a 110.