Little by little, progress was made each week culminating with Carissa Parsons’ second consecutive Division I-A state tournament appearance for the Fallon girls golf team.
The Fallon sophomore golfer carded a 91 and 98, respectively, Monday and Tuesday at the Fallon and Fernley golf courses. Those scores vaulted Parsons’ into fourth place in the individual standings. Only the top five individuals not on one of the top three teams qualify for state.
The state tournament is Oct. 21-22 in Mesquite.
Just missing the cut, meanwhile, was teammate Tabetha Park, who finished sixth and scored a 112 at the Fallon tournament.
“I think we are the most improved team in the league,” Fallon coach Phil Pinder said.
As a team, though, Fallon steadily improved and leapfrogged South Tahoe for fifth place in the Northern DI-A.
While scores were not reported for the Fernley tournament, Parsons’ average through Monday’s match sat at 98.3. Park was second with 110.2 followed by Sara Evans (111), Vivane Ugalde (117.7), Shelby Neidigh (125.3) and Angela Shunney (133.5).
“To me, that was the most satisfying to shoot a 425,” Pinder said of the Fallon tournament. “I think people found out how difficult Fallon is.”
One attribute Pinder enjoys about his club is the temperament. He said each player is coachable and thirsting for instruction on how to become a better player.
Pinder voiced high praise for Ugalde, a beginner, who carded her best round of the season at Fernley with a 109.
“She’s obviously a good athlete,” Pinder said. “She has the right temperament. When it comes to the swing, we got basics down. You have to fit your swing and muscle memory (into one).”
A positive sign for Pinder, though, was the final two tournaments each golfer shot near or below their season average.
Parsons set a personal best with the 91 and has steadily improved her game over the past year. Pinder said her dedication to play junior golf in the summer paid dividends in Parsons’ short game.
The sophomore, though, came off her worst performance of the year in Truckee with a 115, but rebounded on her home course to shoot her best score of the season.
Looking ahead to state, Pinder said Parsons must focus on each shot and forget the score.
“Play golf and not the score,” Pinder said. “Not I got a five or six. Think about one shot at a time. I think that will do it for her.”