Pickering charges to sixth in state

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 19, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / April 19, 1999

NEW ORLEANS – St. Charles Catholic’s Christie Pickering charged down theback nine to charge up the leaderboard at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Girls’ State Golf Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Eastover Country Club.

Pickering closed with a 42 on the final nine holes, giving her a final round score of 15-over par 87 and a sixth-placed finish in the tournament.

Pickering opened the tournament with a 97 on Tuesday, giving her a two- day total of 184.

Archbishop Hannan’s Crystal Elliers overcame a slow start Wednesday, shooting an one-under par 35 on the back nine for a round of 79 and a two- day total of 157 to win the individual title. Elliers led the tournamentafter the first day with a score of six-over par 78.

McDonogh 35’s Kerrie Davis, who led by three after the first six holes Wednesday, finished second with a final round 82 and a two-day score of 164. Davis and Elliers were tied after the front nine before Davis hit hertee shot into the water on the 10th hole and finished with a triple bogey while Elliers parred the hole.

Byrd’s Hillary Duncan had rounds of 84 and 85 to place third with a score of 169. A stroke back was West Monroe’s Sharika Aucoin (87-83). Ruston’sShannon Sivils shot twin 91s to finish fifth with a score of 182.

Davis and Monique Davis (107-100-207) led McDonogh 35 to the team title with a score of 371. West Monroe, led by Sarah Johnson (87-99-186) andBillie Jean Cook (96-97-193), was second with a 379. Cook and CaddoMagnet’s Melanie Barrow (93-101-204) were Pickering’s playing partners Wednesday.

The golfers faced blustery conditions when they teed off in the morning.

Pickering, who had struggled on the 335-yard, par 4 first hole Tuesday, finishing with a 10 after putting one shot out of bounds and another in the water on the right, drove her first shot of the day 170 yards down the fairway. She placed her second shot about 10 yards from the pin and two-putted for par.

“I was not as nervous as I was yesterday,” Pickering said. “I just tried toplay the wind. The wind got me a lot yesterday.”After taking a bogey on the par 5 second hole, Pickering caught the ground before her second shot on the 310-yard, par 4 third, sending it into the water fronting the green and finishing with a triple bogey. Pickering thenbogeyed the fourth and double bogeyed the par 4 fifth.

Pickering recovered on the 455-yard, par 5 sixth hole, placing her second shot to within 90 yards of the green. After pitching 15 feet past the hole,Pickering two putted for the par. After a bogey on No. 7, Pickeringlaunched her tee shot to within 50 yards on the par 4, 260-yard eighth hole. A pitch got her to within five feet where she two-putted for the par.She finished the front side with a bogey on No. 9 for a score of 45 throughnine holes.

Pickering opened the back nine with bogeys on 10 and 12 and a double bogey on 11. On the par 3, 140-yard 13th, facing a pin placement on thefront left corner of the green with water in front and on the left, Pickering placed her tee shot off to the right side of the green. She thenknocked her chip to within three feet of the hole, rolling in the putt for par. Pickering kept it up on the 14th hole, placing her drive to within 50yards, chipping on and two putting for a par before bogeying the 15th.

Pickering hit her signature shot of the day on the course’s signature hole, the par 5, 435-yard 16th, a dogleg right. Her drive landed on the fairwaywithin 250 yards before she placed her second shot into the fairway bunker on the right side. From there, she blasted her third shot over thewater fronting the green to within 10 feet, two putting for a par.

Pickering again got up and down nicely on the 17th after hitting her second shot into the greenside bunker, wedging to within feet and hitting her putt for par. She hit her tee shot into the water on the 18th butrecovered to make bogey on the hole.

This was the fourth year that Pickering had competed in the state tournament, improving on a 17th place finish a year ago.

“I am pretty much not as nervous anymore,” Pickering said. “I usually justgo up and hit the ball but today I concentrated and tried to figure things out.”St. Charles Catholic coach Wayde Keiser said the experience she hadhelped Pickering out.

“She played really well today,” Keiser said of Pickering, who was 11 shots over par on the first and 10 holes Tuesday but only one-over par on those same holes in the second round. “She had a couple of tough holes inthe first round but she played really well today. On 16, out of the trap,that was a great shot.

“She has been an excellent kid to be around for the last four years.

Hopefully, she can get to play college golf.”

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