A second-day surge shot the Lake Travis boys golf team into the regional tournament with a second-place showing Tuesday at the District 15-5A Championships.
The Cavaliers came up just short of a district title to Westlake but were able to edge out Austin High for one of the two regional qualifying spots.
After Day 1, Westlake was in first with a 298, Lake Travis was second at 300 and the Maroons were third with a 302. The Cavs second team was fourth at 303 to boot.
With strong play from Klein Klotz, Jake Ezell and Andrew Liu the Cavs pulled away from Austin High and outscored the Maroons by 15 strokes on Day 2 to finish with a score of 300-288 588 to the Maroons’ 302-303 605. Westlake wound up with a 298-297 585 to take the district title, and the Cavs second team took fourth with a 303-306 609.
“We didn’t really play very well our first day,” Lake Travis golf coach Randy Morris said. “Our objective was to catch Westlake (on Day 2). We played really well and finished quite a few ahead of Austin High. We still did good, and regionals is a new tournament.”
Klotz finished as second medalist with a score of 75-70 145 and Ezell finished as third medalist with rounds of 73-72 145.
The rest of the Lake Travis first team finished Liu in seventh place with a 79-70 149, Joey Hearn 12th at 75-76 151 and Dillon Van Essen 15th at 77-77 154.
“It was nice to see Klein turn it around on the second day, and Andrew did as well,” Morris said. “Jake played solid both days; for him to shoot that score is pretty good.”
Playing as medalist, which can gain entry to the regional tournament with a top individual score, Jacob Rodriguez 77-72 149 and Nick Winborn 77-72 149 went down to a playoff to determine who would move on from district. Rodriguez won the advancing spot on the third hole against Winborn and Lake Travis second team member Dillon Baxter (76-73 149), with Baxter scoring well enough to finish as the alternate should Rodriguez have to drop out.
Baxter, Rodriguez and Winborn finished tied for eight before the playoff as Lake Travis golfers occupied six of the 10 top spots.
“That was nice to have all three of those playing [for the extra spot],” Morris said.
First team all-district for the Cavs were Klotz, Ezell and Liu, Winborn, Baxter and Rodriguez were second team all-district.
The Region 2-5A tourney will be held April 14-16 at Twin Rivers Golf Course in Waco.
Awaiting at regionals will be last year’s Class 5A state champ, The Woodlands, as well as the second place state squad that should be familiar to Lake Travis by now – Westlake.
The Cavs have some confidence on their side, though, as Van Essen, Klotz, Liu and Hearn were all on last year’s Class 4A state champion team.
“They know what to expect,” Morris said. “It’s not really any different mindset for us. We went out ready to play our best and if we did, we knew our scores would take care of themselves.”
The second Lake Travis team finished Baxter, Austin Campbell 74-79 153, Jake Budde 74-81 155, Andrew DeHennis 79-76 155 and Kevin Austrian 84-78 162.
Lake Travis also took second place at the Joe Balander Memorial March 22 with three golfers in the top five and five in the top 10.
Van Essen was first medalist with a 69, Ezell shot a 71 and Liu had a 74. After them were Logan Zavala (78) and Jack Gist (80) to post a team score of 292 and finish second.
The other Cavs team finished Klotz with a 70 to take third medalist), Andrew DeHennis (72), Hearn (73), Thomas Hoch (80) and Zach Joiner (101) to post a team score of 295 and finish third.
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