64° F Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Cavaliers got a little classier this season.

In its first season in Class 5A, the Lake Travis golf team placed second in the Region 2-5A tournament Tuesday to advance onto its first-ever 5A state championships.

Lake Travis held off fierce competitors in the strongest region in 5A to claim a top-three qualifying spot to state, which is April 29-30 at the Morris Williams Golf Course. The Cavs won the Class 4A state title last season.

“Having all those boys back from last year, we still thought we should get back to state,” Lake Travis golf coach Randy Morris said. “We knew it was going to be tougher, especially the regional tournament, but we expected that to happen. We would have been very disappointed if we had not advanced.”

The Cavs had to charge back on Day 2 to ensure a state spot, as they fell down to fourth place earlier in the round but played well on the back nine to snag second.

“It was pretty much a tight race all through the tournament,” Morris said. “We played the back much better and were able to win second over Kingwood.”

Dillon Van Essen and Klein Klotz shot a two-day 154 to lead Lake Travis, with Jake Ezell and Andrew Liu posting a 157 each and Joey Hearn rounding out the top five with a 159. Van Essen, Klotz, Liu and Hearn all were on the state championship squad last season.

The Woodlands won the region with a 303-299 602, Lake Travis shot a 307-312 619, and Kingwood was third at 312-309 621, with all three teams going to state. McKinney Boyd took fourth at 623, Humble Atascocita was fifth with a 625 and Westlake came in seventh at 631.

“Part of it was the condition of the course,” said Morris of the higher scores and Westlake missing the cut. “The greens were awful, mostly dirt. Even the shortest putts were very hard to make. It was quite an adventure.”

The Woodlands will be a tough team to top for the state title, but Morris believes it’s in range for the Cavs.

“The Woodlands played exceptionally well,” he said. “We’re glad to be going home, to a course we know. Who knows, with two days of golf, we certainly hope to play our best and, if we do, we have a good chance of winning.”

The girls regional tournament concludes Thursday.

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