Warren paces Baylor girls' win

Warren paces Baylor girls' win

October 3rd, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Preps

Baylor's Blakesly Warren watches Ensworth's Alexandra Farnsworth's putt on the second hole of Willowbrook during a playoff Tuesday afternoon.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.


St. Andrew's-Sewanee junior Jenna Burris finished fourth in the Division II-A girls' state tournament with a 10-over 154.

She played in the state tournament as an eighth-grader, took two years off from golf and returned to state this year. She had a final-round 79.

"This is what I worked for all year," said Burris, who finished six shots off the lead. "It kind of [stinks] to see it go down. I was hoping to place in the top four."

MANCHESTER, Tenn. - The streak may start anew.

Granted, one victory does not define streak, but it's a start for the Baylor girls' golf team, which had won 16 straight TSSAA state championships before losing last year to Ensworth.

The Lady Red Raiders beat the Tigers 298 to 299 with the outcome determined on the final hole of the lead group.

"They got the monkey off their back because they've been under a lot of pressure for a few years," Baylor coach Gary Partrick said. "There are big shoes to fill when you talk about girls who have come through this program."

Baylor junior Blakesly Warren and Ensworth junior Alexandra Farnsworth approached the 18th hole with the Tigers leading by one and Farnsworth leading the individual race by two. Farnsworth hit her approach to the back of the green about 40 feet above the hole. Warren hit her shot hole high about 15 feet to the left.

Warren curled in her birdie putt and then watched as Farnsworth three-putted to put them in a tie for medalist and swing the team score in Baylor's favor.

"Two things happened there, and if they don't, we tie or lose," Partrick said. "That's the way this rivalry has developed the last three years.

"That was a really dramatic finish."

The competition for medalist matched the team drama. Both Warren and Farnsworth -- who shot even-par 144 over two rounds -- parred the first playoff hole.

Farnsworth went from bunker to bunker on the second playoff hole and tapped in for a bogey 6. Warren had her approach land on a sprinkler head beside the green. She took relief and putted to within three feet of the hole.

Warren brushed in the putt and doubled over in relief.

"That's hard to do after winning the team title to go back out," Partrick said. "That's pretty gutsy."

Warren shot two rounds of even 72 and was 3 under par on her last nine holes.

"These last two days were a whole lot of fun -- nerve-racking and exciting, but I had a lot of fun," Warren said. "I knew coming down the stretch where we stood, and I was trying to make as many birdies as I could."

Baylor teammate senior Lauren Johnson placed fourth with a 10-over 154, including an 8-over 80 in the final round with a bogey on her final hole.

"I thought that I had lost it for us," Johnson said. "I thought an 80 wouldn't cut it. But it did."

The Lady Raiders have now won a state championship in 17 out of their last 18 seasons. The one exception came in 2011.

"Last year we were crying," Warren said. "This year we're happy and smiling."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.