Hemler four off the lead in 5A state golf

Published 5:21 pm Monday, May 15, 2017

BASTROP — Despite a triple bogey on the par-4, 16th hole that knocked her out of the first-round lead in the Texas 5A girls state tournament, Karler Hemler was undaunted and upbeat as she looked toward Tuesday’s final 18 holes.
“I feel pretty good. I thought I played really well,” said the Port Neches-Groves senior, after a three-over par 75 at Wolfdancer Golf Club. “I’m not sure what happened on 16. I just kind of ran out of gas and hit a couple of bad shots.”
Other than 16, Hemler had three birdies, three bogeys and 11 pars. She went from one over through the first seven holes to two under with birdies at the par-4, eighth, the par4, 10th and the par-4, 11th. Her birdies on 10 and 11 were inside 2 feet.
Hemler is tied for fourth place, four shots behind Halle Whitney of Magnolia. Laura Rodriguez of Mission Sharyland and Caitlyn Lindell of Lake Ridge are tied for second place with a 74. She is two shots ahead of 5A defending champion Ava Schwienteck of Magnolia and this year’s Region III winner Leah Alberto of Kingwood Park.
“My irons, short game and putting were all good,” she said. “I didn’t drive the ball as well as I usually do. Overall, it was pretty good. I should have made more birdies than I did.”
Hemler didn’t go into detail on her “running out of gas” statement but it likely had something to do with being on the course for over six hours on a hot day.
“Karlei played well,” said Babe Zaharias head pro Mitch Duncan, who has been working with Hemler for six years and followed all 18 holes on Monday. “She ran out of fuel. She wasn’t eating enough.”
“I feel like I have a really good chance of coming back and winning,” said Hemler. “If I don’t take another 7 and make a few more birdies, I should be fine. I am confident that I can be under par in the next round. I just wish I could have that one hole back.”

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