MARIETTA -- The Walton girls improved by 15 strokes on the second day of the Cobb County Invitational on Tuesday at City Club Marietta and rallied from six strokes down to defend their title.
The Lady Raiders finished with a team score of 261, while first-round leader Allatoona settled for second place at 265. Walker (286), Harrison (294) and Lassiter (331) rounded out the top five.
Walton’s Cat Cutter and Audrey Stasko tied for the team lead with 87s over the two-day event, but Cutter improved by nine strokes with a 39 on Tuesday after shooting 48 in Monday’s round.
Kat Euston’s opening-day 53 did not count toward Walton’s score Monday, but she improved to a 41 Tuesday.
Stasko was consistent on both days, shooting 44-43, while McKensey Caseta shot 46-47, though her score Tuesday did not counting toward the final score.
With only one senior on this year’s team, there appeared to be a lack of confidence during Monday’s round, but Walton came out with a different mindset Tuesday.
“I don’t know if we were just scared of winning (Monday),” Walton coach Richard Myrick said. “We felt the pressure from winning last year, and only having one senior was a big deal, but we played real well (Tuesday) -- freshmen, seniors, everybody.”
Cutter practiced her putting and chipping following her disappointing 48 on Monday, and she made it through her final nine holes without a three-putt. The turning point came on No. 12, where her tee shot went into the water, and she saved bogey by making a 20-foot putt.
“Far improved,” Cutter said in describing Tuesday’s round. “I was definitely a little frustrated after (Monday), and I felt like I kind of pushed forward (Tuesday).”
Euston said the combination of the wind and not having the greatest attitude affected her play Monday. Even though she started her final nine holes with four straight bogeys, followed by a double bogey, she finished strong with four straight pars.
“Every day of golf is different,” she said. “You can play the same course 100 times and do differently every time. Every day is different. Conditions are different. Your swing can be different, so, it just depends on the day. That’s the beauty of golf.”
Pope's Makenna Brindley can sympathize with how wind can hamper a performance.
Although her rounds of 44-39 resulted in a first-place 83 to win medalist honors, her last nine holes were not worth remembering.
Brindley had a triple bogey and double bogey Monday, but the worse she could do Tuesday was a double bogey that she rectified that with six pars.
“The scoring conditions were easier (Tuesday) due to the lack of wind,” Brindley said. “My approach shots were definitely better. I hit more greens, which helped a lot, especially on a course that is short.”
While Allatoona did not play poorly Tuesday, it could not hold its lead.
Madi Panter shot 44-41, while Sara Tilton, the leader after Monday with 42, shot 46. Jillian Stewart bounced back from a 51 on Monday to shoot 46.
“When you look and Walton shot 15 strokes better, you can’t complain,” Allatoona coach Johnny Tilton said. “Hands down, Walton got it done.”