Lakota East’s Yeazell wins GMC girls golf championship

HAMILTON — Clare Yeazell stood on the first hole at Walden Ponds Golf Club with that nervous kind of feeling Wednesday morning. It happened again on the 18th hole.

Everything else in between felt just fine for the Lakota East High School senior golfer.

Yeazell had eight birdies and fired a 7-under-par 65 on Day 2 to capture the Greater Miami Conference championship. She shot a 67 in Tuesday’s first round for a two-day total 132.

“Standing on 18, I felt like there was a lot of pressure,” Yeazell said. “I was a little nervous on the first tee today, too. I had an idea of what I had to do to win, but then you just never know.”

Yeazell edged out Sycamore sophomore Eva Becerril, the defending GMC champion who led after the first round with a 65. Becerril carded a second-round 68 to finish a stroke back at 133.

“Today I just tried to go into it and let the birdies come to me,” Yeazell said. “I didn’t try to force anything. Honestly, I didn’t know if I had it or not.

“Eva is one of the best competitors in the state,” Yeazell added. “There really wasn’t a moment on the golf course that made me think, ‘Oh, yeah. I have this for sure.’ I just tried to keep my head on straight.”

Yeazell had only two bogeys in the two-day tournament.

“She practices harder than anybody that I’ve ever seen,” Lakota East coach Brady Webb said. “When we’re done with practice, she will just keep going. She’s a grinder. Anyone that knows her knows she is a fantastic golfer. But she’s an even better person.

“All I do as a coach is try and help keep Clare calm,” Webb added. “She knew down to the last few holes that all she had to do was stay calm and consistent. She knew she had to do it, and she did.”

Sycamore claimed the team title for a second straight year, followed by Lakota West, Oak Hills, Lakota East, Mason, Fairfield, Princeton and Colerain.

Lakota West junior Paige Treherne shot 4-under 140 (70-70) to finish third.

Other area golfers that finished in the top 25 were Lakota West’s Kiera Steinhilber (162, ninth), Lakota West’s Taylor Blackburn (164, 11th), Lakota East’s Alexis Park (173, 15th), Lakota West’s Sam Wagner (181, t-17th), Lakota East’s Mia Park (181, t-17th), Fairfield’s Luci Crutcher (190, t-22nd) and Fairfield’s Kendall Bennett (191, t-24th).

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