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NORTH PULASKI GOLF | Falcons miss Baxter as team fails to reach state tournament

After qualifying for the 5A girls’ state golf competition, the North Pulaski Falcons didn’t compete as a team.

Jessica Erwin and Tara Holt competed as individuals after Allie Baxter couldn’t play in the state because of the passing of her grandmother the night before the tournament at Hot Springs Country Club on Oct. 2.

“Jessica, our number one golfer, finished 16 or 17 which is not bad for her,” North Pulaski Coach Robbie Walker said. “Tara shot about what she normally shoots.”

To make the state tournament, the girls had to endure some drama. At the conference meet, the Falcons tied with Sylvan Hills for third place. That meant a two-person playoff ensued. Erwin, a senior tied with her golfer from Sylvan Hills, but Holt, also a senior, won the playoff for North Pulaski because she beat her girl.

Last season, the Falcons won the district and two of the previous three years were second. North Pulaski has qualified for the last five years, and Erwin has advanced to state every year during her high school career.

“Jessica had her best round in state and finished with a 105,” Walker said. “The last two rounds she hit the ball out of bounds or she would have broken 100. Tara probably shot her best at conference. I was pleased with how we competed in conference to make it to state. The girls played well and played really well in state.”

Senior Chad Nelson and junior Hunter McPherson competed in the conference tournament as individuals. Nelson tied for medalist honors with a golfer from Jacksonville but lost in a carded playoff.

This is the first year the Falcons have not fielded a boys’ team. Walker is hoping more guys play next year and is also looking for more girl golfers with the graduation of Erwin and Holt.

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