ZACHARY — Anna Heine’s past was in the forefront of her mind as she went through the back nine of the Girls Metro Golf Tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Course.
“The past couple of years, I’ve had trouble finishing rounds,” Heine said. “I choke sometimes.”
Except this time she didn’t choke. In fact, she was down right clutch, overcoming a two- stroke deficit through 11 holes to take a four-stroke win by the time the round was over.
Heine took the individual championship with a score of 73 after going neck-and-neck for most of the day with Episcopal freshman Riley Heaslip who finished second with a 77.
Heine and Heaslip had four lead changes between them and were twice tied, including even through 13 holes before Heine pulled ahead for good.
By the time Heine reached the 15th hole, she was one stroke up on Heaslip, but her birdie was especially important from a personal standpoint after losing a tournament as an eighth-grader due to hitting from the wrong tee on the same hole.
“On holes 13, 15, 16 and 17, I made a whole bunch of clutch putts, and that’s what was able to help me win,” Heine said. “I was excited to finally win. I’ve been trying to win this tournament since I was in sixth- grade.”
The freshman gave Heine everything she could handle Wednesday, consistently driving balls further down range all day.
But where Heaslip couldn’t keep up was on the greens where she left several birdies and even a pair of opportunities at eagles slip from her.
Twice on the back nine, Heaslip had a chance at sinking a putt for eagle but ended up two-putting for par, including a two- putt from about 5 feet on the 13th hole that started Heine’s comeback.
Heaslip’s frustration boiled over on the next hole, where she shot her only double bogey.
“It wasn’t so much on the green as much as it was my approach shots to the green,” Heaslip said. “I kept messing up on my 50-yard approach shots. I would hit them fat or not the distance I needed, and then I would have 3-footers for birdie and miss and then make par when a birdie would have helped the whole round.”
Heine’s low score boosted the Redstickers to a team championship with an overall score of 167, beating second-place University Lab by 16 strokes. U-High was led by Maggie Westbrook who shot a 91 for a third place finish.
Heaslip’s score helped Episcopal to a third place in the team standings.
“I had high expectations for the girls all year, and in true fashion, they didn’t disappoint,” St. Joseph’s coach Brad Buras said. “They were anxious to play a good round and they delivered.”