For the second straight year, the Pulaski Lady Maroon golf team finished runner-up in the Region 9 Golf Tournament at General Burnside Island State Park.

And for the second straight year, Pulaski had to fight to the end to barely edge out the next best team to secure the silver runner-up trophy.

Last year, Pulaski edged out Somerset by a mere two points to claim the silver trophy and a trip to the KHSAA Girls State Golf Tournament.

On Monday, the Lady Maroons accumulated 375 strokes and edged out Williamsburg by one stroke. Russell County, again, won the regional team title with 342 strokes.

“All the participants in this tournament were battling the climate, conditions and strong winds out on the course today,” Lady Maroon coach James Powell explained. “But we had to overcome a lot more than just that today, because Tayler Dick hurt her foot on the fourth hole after she struck her own ankle with the club. But she battled all the way through and played the next 14 holes.”

“Allison Norris is still suffering from a shoulder injury from a car wreck earlier in the season,” Powell continued. “On top of all this, we had to also battle adverse weather conditions today. Our girls battled and did an excellent job. Our scores are not a representation of how we played all year.”

“Today came down to experience and we had seniors,” Powell continued. “We had seniors who could bow their neck under pressure and knew how to play. Williamsburg is a very talented team, but they are still young.”

The Russell County Lady Lakers had the top two individual golfers with Danielle Murray winning the tournament with a 18-hole round of 79, while teammate Jalena Barnes finished second with a 83.

Pulaski senior Chelsea Branscum finished fourth overall with a round of 85 to lead the Lady Maroons. Ashley Morris had a 93, Tayler Dick shot a 98, Jessica Acton shot a 99 and Allison Norris shot a 105.

After nine holes, the Lady Maroons held a one-shot lead over Williamsburg, and despite adverse conditions, the Lady Maroons were able to maintain their standing and earn the program’s fourth state tournament appearance.

“Coming down to the last hole, I knew Chelsea (Branscum) knew how to handle the pressure,” Powell stated. “She had been in this pressure situation time and time again. Last year, she battled for the individual runner-up title, she has been in several playoffs. She is closing out six extraordinary years playing for me and she has never missed a tournament in all that time.”

“Ashley Morris shot a great front nine and battled her way through the back nine,” powell commented. “Tayler (Dick) was hurt for 14 holes trying to walk on that injured ankle. Jessica Acton did an incredible job for us on the back nine. I told Jessica we had to have her when she started on the back nine and she has always responded when we told her we needed her to shoot well. She came back and played a strong last nine holes.”

For Southwestern, Jessica Jones shot a 96, Taylor Dick shot a 122, Cammie Lovell shot a 164 and Brittany Pitman shot a 190.

The Pulaski girls team, along with Russell County and the top four individual players not on a winning team, all qualified for the KHSAA Girls State Golf Tournament to be played at Bowling Green County Club on Oct. 8-10.

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