By Ed Martin, Editor
Tigers girls cruise to first-ever Central Section golf championship in Taft tourney

Talk about a complete team effort. The Tigers knew it would take a team effort if they had any hopes of winning Lemoore High School’s first-ever Central Section golf championship, and that’s just what they did on Monday at Taft’s Buena Vista golf course.

Of course the Tigers were once again led by West Yosemite League individual champion Dani Kinder, but she didn’t do it all alone – far from it. She got plenty of help from her teammates, all of whom seemed fired up as the Tigers went after the Division II championship.

Central Section Individual Championships, 10 a.m. Visalia’s Valley Oaks on Nov. 3

Kinder shot her usual solid score, though not her best effort with a 5-over77, just a pair of shots over the tourney’s top finishers, Madi Daniel from Bakersfield Christian and Aya Enkoji from Clovis West, both of whom shot 75s. Enkoji was the top individual in Division I.

But it was the play of Kinder’s talented teammates that managed to clinch the top spot, Lemoore’s first ever Central Section golf championship. Jayda Olaes helped the cause with her 8-over 80 while Aiyana Barrios turned in another solid performance with a 96. Contributing to the team title was Maddie Alvarez with her 99 and Lauren Black with an impressive 103. Jennifer Alaniz finished with a 122 as the Tigers finished 22 strokes ahead of Bakersfield Christian in the Division II Central Section championship.

“It was just an amazing team effort,” said Kinder who will lead teammates Olaes and Barrios into next Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) Central Section individual championships. The tourney will start at 10 a.m. at Visalia’s Valley Oaks Golf Course.

“Everyone really came together and performed when we needed it most. There wasn’t one girl who wasn’t happy with their score,” said a happy Kinder. “Jayda and Maddie had great rounds and they were a huge part in our success. It was an extremely emotional day but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Tiger Coach Kevin Roberts echoed Kinder’s words. “It was a total team effort from top to bottom,” he said. “No one wanted to let their team down, so each one of them went out and played a great round.”

Kinder easily could have gone lower, but managed to miss a number of birdie opportunities. However, a solid 200-yard 3-wood on number 11 landed in eagle range, where she missed but set up a 2-foot putt for a birdie.

Overall the Tigers also finished four overall between Division I and Division II schools.