Girls Golf: Young Monarchs swing for improvement

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Exeter remains in fifth place after 43 point score at the Visalia Country Club
By Patrick Dillon
@PDillon_SGN
VISALIA – The improvement of the Exeter Monarchs girls golf program has been steady this season, but it took a step back last Thursday as they took fifth with 43 points at the Visalia Country Club.
“It was a tough day out on the course,” Exeter head coach Larry Goats said. “This is our worst performance since our first tournament.”
Exeter’s tendency is to score better on the newer courses where the growth has not developed as much. On those courses Exeter is averaging around 60 points. On much older courses where the trees have fully matured it is a different story.
Exeter’s top golfer Cheyenne Lynch scored a team high 14 points. Although, she led the team she had a rough start, primarily around the greens. On the par four third hole her drive found the middle of the fairway, but an errant approach shot left her a length pitch from the left side of the green. From there it took her three additional shots and two puts to get down for her triple bogey.
Lynch was one of two Exeter golfers to score double digit points. Shadea Minugh was the other who scored 10. Ashlyn Walker scored eight, Katelyn Bucholz scored five points, Shelby Faulkner scored four, and Lainie Shields scored two points.
In the three years of the Monarchs’ girls golf program they have never finished better than fifth place. It was the team’s goal to overtake the Dinuba Emperors for fourth at this tournament, and put them in position for their best league finish going into the finals. But Exeter could not get the two points needed to defeat Dinuba.
Goats, who is in his first season as head coach of the Monarchs, is optimistic about his team’s youth as long as his players are willing to practice during the off-season. Goats biggest fear is that his players will not take the chance to work on what they have learned on the links this year until picking back up their clubs in the summer.
“We can be competitive in the next couple of years if we don’t put our clubs away,” Goats said.
Goats has already dubbed Faulkner as possibly the best the program has ever seen. Faulkner’s biggest drawback is her lack of course time as she has only clocked two months of competition. But the reason Goats believes she is destined for good things is that she is a natural athlete.
“I think she can turn into something special,” Goats said.