By BRETT MARSHALL
LAKIN — Gusty wind. Chilly temperature. Small, firm and sloping greens.
Those combinations of weather and course conditions at Louck's Municipal Golf Course wreaked havoc with scores here Monday in the Class 3-2-1A regional girls golf tournament.
To say that the Holcomb Lady Longhorns "survived" the 18-hole event to win the regional crown would be an understatement.
But that's exactly what coach Scott Stegman's team did and advance to next Monday's state tournament at Stoneridge Golf Club in Great Bend.
Stegman's Longhorns struggled to their highest team score of the season — 433 — but it was still 29 shots ahead of runner-up Syracuse, which qualified with a 462. It was another 13 shots to Goodland, which secured the final team spot at 475.
"It was pretty hard out there today," said Holcomb senior Amy Stegman, the coach's daughter, who finished second individually with a 93. "It was cold at first (10 a.m. start) and the wind blew and it just made it bad to be able to hang onto the club with your hands and have any feel."
Stegman was two shots behind medalist Jaly McCauley of St. Francis. Sublette's Katelyn Marlin was the only other player in the field of 34 players.
The three girls were paired together in one of the featured groups and they battled throughout the round for top honors. Marlin had a slim edge at the end of nine holes, posting a 45 while McCauley and Stegman were lurking one stroke back at 46.
"I started off with a double bogey and just got nervous and topped it," Stegman said. "I know I could have done better, but it is still nice to win as a team. I think maybe we all tried too hard because we've wanted to go to state all season. But now that we've qualified, I think we'll have a chance to regroup and be ready for next week."
Stegman parred four holes on her first nine to settle into a solid showing and with four holes remaining had a two shot lead on McCauley. Marlin struggled, too, on the incoming nine, finishing with a 50. Stegman, though, finished her round with four consecutive double bogeys as McCauley made up the deficit.
"It's very disappointing not to win when I had a good chance," Stegman said. "I've got to work on my chips and putts and it's state where it counts so I'm hoping to play better then."
Stegman, the coach, echoed his daughter and No. 1 player's remarks.
"We struggled, for sure, but so did everyone else," coach Stegman said. "We found a way to come out on top and I guess that's what counts. Every now and then you get a second chance and get that next week."
In addition to Stegman, the Longhorns got counting scores from Sam Larrick at 101, Erika Robinson at 109 and Melissa Sizemore at 130.
The Lady Longhorns finished eighth in the 2009 state tournament but are looking to improve on that finish next week.
"The girls have played well all season but perhaps nerves got to us today," Stegman said.
The 433 eclipsed the previous highest Holcomb score of 415 shot at the Garden City Invitational at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course earlier this fall.
"We've got a week to regroup and we want to go and compete and represent this part of the state," Stegman said. "If we go there and shoot well, we've got a legitimate shot to bring some hardware home."
Sublette's Marlin and her teammate, Austin Davis, qualified as individuals for the state tournament next week.
The Ulysses Lady Tigers repeated their regional title on Monday by capturing the 4A event at Russell Country Club.
Ulysses' 395 total was 10 shots ahead of runner-up Colby while Buhler's 409 rounded out the three teams which qualified for next week's state tournament at Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney.
"My goal was to shoot under 400 today and we accomplished that," Ulysses coach Verl Seger said. "We're going and I thought the girls played pretty well considering the conditions."
Maggie Koops led the Lady Tigers with a 95 and a sixth place finish while Blake Madsen's 97 and Kristin Baldwin's 98 also earned top 10 finishes at eighth and tie for 10th. Rounding out the Ulysses scoring were Larissa Seger with a 105, Whitney Seger at 111 and Kelsey Kreutzer at 113.
Hugoton had three girls compete with Cassidy Reed shooting a 118, Sherelle Shuck a 134 and Tessa Rindels a 143.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.