Air Academy's Isabell Deak wins girls' golf regional, while Palmer Ridge wins team crown

0
Photo - Air Academy's Isabell Deak hits out of the sand trap on #9. The Air Academy Kadets hosted the 2017 Kadet Invitational in girls golf on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Eisenhower Golf Club. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Air Academy's Isabell Deak hits out of the sand trap on #9. The Air Academy Kadets hosted the 2017 Kadet Invitational in girls golf on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Eisenhower Golf Club. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

In the lead group on her home golf course, Air Academy's Isabell Deak settled right in at the 4A Region 2 tournament on Tuesday.

Deak outplayed her top-tier threesome and out-dueled the arguable tournament favorite, Palmer Ridge's Kellsey Sample, winning the 11-team region at Eisenhower Golf Course with a career-best score of 6-over 78.

The Kadets' mild-mannered junior had finished inside the top five in all but one tournament this season, but didn't have a victory since her sophomore year when she lived in Washington.

That changed under the overcast skies at Eisenhower for Deak, starting at the driving range beforehand and growing with each stroke during her round.

Deak said afterward she wasn't thinking about winning the tournament.

"Just playing well," she said

Ashlee Sample took second with an 84 and big sister, Kellsey, was third at 86.

Behind the Samples, Palmer Ridge won its first regional title (289) in program history and will send its entire team to state.

Just a week ago, the Bears celebrated their first league title as Kellsey won the PPAC and Ashlee finished second.

"Awesome," Palmer Ridge coach Gary Long said. "We had done real well (this season) in the tournaments, even against 5A teams. Our expectations were high."

Deak led Air Academy to a second-place finish with 291 points. Paige Langum added a score of 105 and Taylor Martinez shot 108 for the Kadets, who will also send their full team to the state meet after edging out Valor Christian by a stroke.

In long sleeves, Deak - grouped with Kellsey Sample and Valor Christian's Sam Schoenborn - pulled away on the back nine. She rolled in two birdies to drop to 3-over by No. 12 and was at 4-over heading into the final hole.

"A lot of times I would have trouble with putting or something else, but today it all came together," Deak said. "It worked for me."

Kellsey looked like she would be the golfer to catch early. She had two pars and a birdie to stay even through four holes, but her round was undone by six double bogeys.

Her younger sister, Ashlee, meanwhile, was the top scoring Sample sister for the second straight year at regionals.

"Golf is so up and down, you're going to have down days," Kellsey said. "I made state. I'm going to try and come back for state and rebound."

The 4A state meet will be held at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie on May 22-23.