LaGrange High School golfer Macee Stone will travel to the state as an individual player after winning the local tournament earlier this week. It was a monumental achievement for Stone as only one golfer per region qualifies for individual competition at the state.
“I didn’t play very well so I was very surprised that it ended with my statement as an individual because I really didn’t expect that,” Stone said.
She felt like she didn’t even bring her A-game to the area tournament, but still emerged victorious.
“Everything felt wrong,” Stone said. “My swing felt weird, and I just couldn’t figure out how to fix it at the time.”
Stone actually had to earn a sudden death playoff as she and another girl tied for the lead after 18 holes.
“I had to tell myself ‘don’t overthink it. Just do what you know how to do,'” Stone said. “It’s gonna be okay, that’s what I had to keep telling myself.”
Stone’s opponent from Cairo High School hit a wayward tee shot and got into trouble on the first hole of the playoffs. Stone kept her nerves and delivered a bogey, which was good enough to see her through to the state tournament.
“She played one of her less competitive rounds that day and was still able to go state because she was tied with another girl,” head coach Mike Pauley said. “It was exciting, we had all of our boy and girl golfers on the hill watching.”
Pauley was a major calming influence on Stone, who doesn’t like to think too much about the course. She appreciates having a coach who doesn’t push her and constantly overanalyzes her game.
“He doesn’t talk to me about golf when I’m playing and I like that,” Stone said. “When he comes to me, he doesn’t tell me what to do. He asks me how I am and says “you understand”.
“She doesn’t want the pressure of golf,” Pauley said. “She just wants to have a good time. I asked him, ‘What helps you?’ and she said ‘don’t overdo it’, which isn’t a problem.
Pauley and the entire women’s golf team will accompany her on May 16 and 17. This trip has been a long one as it will be Stone’s first trip as an individual to the state tournament. Stone made the state tournament with the team in previous years. She’s a senior now, so this will be her last hurray as Granger.
“I’m excited because it’s my last year, and I can go one last time, but I’m still a little nervous because these types of tournaments make me nervous,” Stone said.
Stone doesn’t have any set goals in mind for the state tournament, but she doesn’t want to replicate her performance in the area tournament because she knows it wasn’t her best work.
“I don’t really know how far I can go honestly, but I think it will be okay,” Stone said. “It will be fine as long as I don’t play like I did in the region’s tournament.”