SUNNYSIDE — With her performance at the District Golf Championships, Lady Grizzly Kaycee Hazzard earned a state berth at the 4A State Golf Championships.
The first girl in eight years to do so, she was pleasantly surprised.
The sophomore said golf isn’t her main sport — volleyball is.
“So, it was weird to make it to state,” Hazzard reflected.
Once there last Monday, she took advantage of a day of practice. She said getting into the bunkers was a priority that paid off, allowing her to take her shots more easily from them on the first day of competition.
“Kaycee’s tour started with a practice round… it was really nice to be able to play the course, take some notes and figure out a little strategy,” Coach Ryan Cullen said.
Golf allows Hazzard to stretch herself, she said, noting, “It’s interesting to see the different courses and the variety of people playing.”
Having no experience with the game prior to joining the Lady Grizzlies team her freshman year, Hazzard is looking forward to improving her game.
“I plan to take more lessons, but I want to keep it fun,” she said.
“I don’t think I could make a career of if it, but I want to excel and get better… be more prepared.”
At the par 70 Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane, Hazzard said she didn’t shoot as well as other rounds throughout the season.
She was unable to make the second-day cut with a 127 on the first day of competition.
“Kaycee started out pretty strong, struggled in the middle and finished strong,” Cullen said.
Coach added that she hit her driver and rescue hybrids well throughout the 18 holes.
“The holes were longer, especially par 5s,” Hazzard said.
Getting into the rough, although she did so quite often, was not a hardship for her.
“I actually feel I did better from the rough… when I hit, I have more leverage — I think I’m afraid I am gonna chunk it from the fairway,” Hazzard admitted.
She said being nervous with unfamiliar surroundings may have contributed to her unusually high score.
So, Hazzard hopes to get to different courses this summer to give herself different experiences.
“It was a fantastic time and opportunity,” she said of her experience in the state tournament. “I’m already excited for next season!”