Ross wins gold at state golf tournament
By Scott Loftis
Katelyn Ross didn’t feel as if she played especially well during the Class 2A girls state golf championships on Monday at Turkey Mountain Golf Course in Horseshoe Bend.
In fact, the Eureka Spring senior said she planned to leave almost as soon as she finished her round.
“I didn’t shoot very well, so I was ready to leave,” she said.
Then, the mother of another golfer told Ross she was leading the tournament, and she decided to stick around.
“I decided I’d wait until a better score came in,” Ross said. “And a better score never came in.”
Just like that, Ross was a state champion. Her score of 93 won the tournament by a margin of six strokes.
“I cried,” Ross said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m still in shock. I’m just elated.”
Ross was competing in her fourth consecutive state tournament. She finished third in the 2017 tournament as a sophomore. But she said her previous experience really didn’t come into play at Turkey Mountain.
“This course was so much different than all the courses I’d played on before in the state tournament,” she said.
One factor that probably worked to her advantage was the course’s length. As the only female golfer on the Eureka Springs team, Ross typically plays from the back tees along with her male teammates.
That meant she was comfortable playing from the back tees at Turkey Mountain.
“Usually they move the tee boxes up for us. This year, they played ’em back. I’m used to playing the distance,” she said. “I think that helped me.”
The tournament began about 9 a.m. and the last group didn’t finish until around 5:30 p.m. Ross said she finished her round an hour and a half to two hours before the final group came in. During the round she said she had resigned herself to falling a few strokes short of a championship.
“I started off pretty good, and then things slowly worsened,” she said.
“I figured, this is my senior year and I’ve had a good run.”
It was a good run, indeed — complete with a state championship.