Cougars’ McCook putts her way to ti­tle

Down­ing­town East’s McCook putts her way to first league ti­tle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

GIL­BERTSVILLE >> Be­fore she reached down to re­trieve her ball from the cup on the ninth green, Lid­die McCook turned to her three play­ing part­ners.

“Okay, I think we can all agree, that one was lucky,” the Down­ing­town East sopho­more said of her long birdie putt.

Luck? No way. Luck even­tu­ally runs out.

McCook dom­i­nated the day Mon­day, shoot­ing an even-par 70 to cap­ture the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Girls In­di­vid­ual Cham­pi­onship at Gil­bertsville Golf Club.

“Just the thought of win­ning this thing is re­ally cool,” said McCook af­ter­ward. “I was hit­ting the ball pretty solid for the most part. Over­all, just about ev­ery club in the bag was work­ing for me.”

Ev­ery­thing surely was work­ing for her, but the put­ter was putting in over­time.

McCook carded a stel­lar 12 putts on the front nine, even­tu­ally cap­ping a strong run with a 35-foot putt to move to 2-un­der when she made the turn at the club­house. She hit 10 fair­ways and 13 greens in reg­u­la­tion on the round, us­ing five one-putts. She never once recorded a three­p­utt.

“My putting was lights-out to­day,” she said. “Es­pe­cially com­pared to what I usually do. I was go­ing for the green and stick­ing it close. As it went on, I started to trust it even more.”

McCook racked up four birdies and 11 pars with a bo­gey mixed in through the first 16 holes. She ran into trou­ble dur­ing the home stretch, though.

With Hatboro-Hor­sham se­nior Cas­sady Gav­aghan breath­ing down her neck dur­ing the fi­nal stretch, McCook fin­ished dou­ble bo­gey, bo­gey to close out the round.

“I slipped up at the end to­day just like I did last sea­son,” said McCook, who fin­ished sec­ond last year, one stroke be­hind Perkiomen Val­ley’s Carly Dorminy. “That was def­i­nitely on the back of my mind.

“I know I took my­self away from my game for a lit­tle bit. It’s

some­thing I know I need to work on.”

McCook was able to fend off Gav­aghan, who fin­ished run­ner-up with a 3-over 73. Phoenixville ju­nior Grace Si­men­son fol­lowed in third with a 77.

Gav­aghan had sev­eral chances to put the pres­sure on early dur­ing the back nine. Af­ter sink­ing birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, the se­nior missed three straight birdie chances on the next three holes.

“Those may have been the dif­fer­ence,” she ad­mit­ted. “I felt like I should have made all three of those. They all just missed, which was kind of dis­heart­en­ing.”

She also fin­ished with a dou­ble bo­gey on No. 18, a hole where she may have had a chance to pull even with McCook atop the leader­board.

On the round, Gav­aghan hit 10 fair­ways and 13 greens in reg­u­la­tion on her way to 34 putts. She fin­ished with two birdies, three bo­geys and 12 pars.

“It seemed like Lid­die was hit­ting ev­ery­thing well,” said Gav­aghan, “es­pe­cially her putting. So to be able to fin­ish that close to her is an ac­com­plish­ment.

“I’m happy with my score, def­i­nitely. There are a few shots I wish I played dif­fer­ently and a few putts I’d re­ally like to have back. But some­times, that’s just the way it goes.”

Also in the first flight with McCook and Gav­aghan, Si­men­son couldn’t find a way to con­vert a birdie. She opened the round even through four holes, but fin­ished the front side 5-over.

She fin­ished with five bo­geys, a dou­ble bo­gey and 12 pars, rat­tling off seven con­sec­u­tive pars to start the back nine be­fore fin­ish­ing her round with two straight bo­geys.

“I didn’t end well on ei­ther nine — the front or the back,” said Si­men­son. “I was hit­ting my 3-wood re­ally well, but couldn’t re­ally get much else go­ing.”

Sur­vive & Ad­vance

In all, 24 girls qual­i­fied for next week’s Dis­trict One Cham­pi­onship. The first qual­i­fy­ing round will be held back at Gil­bertsville on Mon­day, then con­clude at Tur­tle Creek Golf Course on Tues­day.

Down­ing­town West and Great Val­ley will each send four rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Grace Hickey posted DTW’s top fin­ish with an 81, fol­lowed by Lily Byrne (87), Caitlin McGrinder (90) and Shea Cabaddu (90). Great Val­ley’s Liv Ju­liana shot an 83 in the first flight while Alli Bro­phy (94), Amanda Heins (94) and Me­gan Noll (96) each had their names called.

Be­hind McCook, Anisha Sonti (89) and Ge­or­gia Miller (95) will rep­re­sent Down­ing­town East while Si­men­son, Al­li­son Bradley (87) and Mor­gan Framp­ton (92) sur­vived the cut for Phoenixville.

Methacton, Spring-Ford and Boy­er­town will each send two while Katie Pupillo will be Perkiomen Val­ley’s lone rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

SAM STE­WART — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town East’s Lid­die McCook lines up her putt on No. 18 at Gil­bertsville.

SAM STE­WART — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town East’s Lid­die McCook hits out of the trap on No. 17 at Gil­bertsville Golf Course dur­ing the PAC Girls In­di­vid­ual Cham­pi­onship on Tues­day.

SAM STE­WART — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Great Val­ley’s Liv Ju­liana rips her tee shot on No. 17 at Gil­bertsville Golf Course on Tues­day.

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