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Girls golf: Lambert cruises to eighth area championship
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CANTON – The Lambert girls golf team added another notch in its program’s impressive belt by capturing the 2017 Area 3-7A title, its eighth straight area championship, at the Bridgemill Golf Club in Canton on Thursday.

The Lady Longhorns won with a score of 228. Lambert junior Katie Owens shot a 77, senior Loren Kim a 79 and senior Alison Crenshaw finished with a 90. Senior Christine McDonnell was the low medalist (lowest score in the tournament) with a 72.

“I hit it pretty well today,” McDonnell said. “I just tried to hit it into spots, and when I got into trouble, just try to get out the best I could. I just tried to stay patient.

“Stuff is going to happen as it happens so I just kind of let it happen.”

That unflappable nature shared by McDonnell and her teammates has allowed Lambert to win all four team tournaments it has entered this season (Lady Wolves Invite, West Hall Invitational, Warrior Spring Swing, Brookwood Invite) and finish with an 8-1 match record.

“It’s mostly in practice, but it’s also the mindset too,” McDonnell said about her team’s success. “You have to come out expecting to do well also. You can’t just show up and just hope for the best.”

South Forsyth finished runner-up in the area tournament with a score of 244. Kelly Strickland ended her round with an 80, Samantha Bearden an 84 and Devlin Sirna shot a 108.

Lady War Eagle Catherine Stoerker also shot an 80 to tie for the team led with Strickland, but it was her hole-in-one on the 16th hole that was the talk around the clubhouse.

It was Stoerker’s first ever hole-in-one. She used a half-pitching wedge to accomplish the feat on the 99-yard hole featuring an island green completely surrounded by water.

“I just kind of looked at it and blocked all the water off out of play and just went for it,” Stoerker said. “I didn’t try to lay up on the other side of the green or anything.”

Next up for Lambert and South is the state tournament on May 22-23 at Chateau Elan in Braselton.

Lambert has already played at Chateau Elan earlier in the year at the West Hall Invitational, which is something coach Katie Rosser hopes the Lady Longhorns can use to their advantage.

“We’ll go out there for practice rounds,” Rosser said of her preparations for the state tournament. “This way (the girls) will feel comfortable going into it, but you never know what the elements are going to do.

“Luckily, these girls have been playing a lot of golf, so they’re comfortable enough to adjust and not let it get to them. I’m proud of them for that.”

Joining Lambert and South Forsyth from Area 3-7A will be Roswell (257), Walton (261) and Woodstock (265) as the top five teams in the area tournament automatically qualify for the state tournament. North Forsyth fell just outside the top five, finishing sixth with a 270. Etowah’s Lexie Dawson (76) qualified for the state tournament as an individual for shooting the best round out of all the girls on non-qualifying school teams.