East Texas is sending a number of golfers to the state tournament, including two veterans – Kinley Pessel of Hallsville and Mia Nixon of Martin’s Mill.
This is Pessel’s second straight year at the UIL Girls State Golf Tournament, as Nixon is No. 3.
The event is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in the Austin area.
For Pessel, this is his second consecutive 5A tournament. Last year as well as in 2022, she will participate in White Wing Golf in Georgetown. In 2021, she carded a 156 (79-77).
Pessel, who is coached by longtime baseball coach Scott Mitchell, said last year’s tournament helped her prepare for 2022.
“I learned a lot from last year, especially the pressure of playing in the state tournament,” Pessel said recently during an interview at Pinecrest Country Club in Longview. “White Wing is a nice course, but it’s tough. If the wind blows, it sometimes complicates things.
Pessel feels shaken and her short game are her strengths and Mitchell adds that Pressel’s competitiveness and mental game are solid.
“I really like competition,” Pessel said of why she loves the game. “I think a lot of people don’t realize how competitive the sport is.”
Nixon, who signed with Texas A&M, is not only appearing in her third Class 2A state tournament, but she is also shooting for the No. 3 state championship. Without the COVID-19 pandemic that canceled the 2020, Nixon would, more than likely, be aiming for a fourth title.
As a 2019 rookie, Nixon took medalist honors with a two-round score of 142, winning by five strokes at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin.
Last year, Nixon won by 17 strokes at The Legends golf course in Kingsland. The tournament was 27 holes in 2021 due to bad weather.
This year, the 2A tournament is scheduled for Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin. This is also the 20th consecutive state tournament that an individual golfer or team from Martin’s Mill will represent the school.
East Texas teams and others participating in the state tournament include:
Class 5A — Individuals: Lauren Fisher, Longview; Kinley Pessel, Hallsville; (White Wing Golf Club, Georgetown);
Class 4A—Bullard: Gracie Smith, Natasha Johnson, Amaya Johnson, Josie McClure, Adyson Pipkin; Canton: Jayme Robertson, Bella Irwin, Katie Wilkerson, Caroline Stern, Taryn Clayton; Individuals: Faith Ann Chinn, Longview Spring Hill; Kenzie McClenny, Lindale; Katelyn Henslee, Rusk; (Legends Golf Course, Kingsland);
Class 3A – Mineola: Valerie Moreland, Bransyn Anderson, Sunni Ruffin, Savannah Lopez, Ava Johnson; Individuals: Katie Hart, Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill; Alli Reily, Pottsboro; Laney Wright, Mount Vernon; (Jimmy Clay Golf Course, Austin);
Class 2A — Quinlan Boles: Kaile Hampton, Kaedence Robison, Lillian Hathcoat, Leigha Robison, Ashlyn Nation; Individuals: Hannah Nimmo, Wolfe City; Mia Nixon, Martin Mill; Bandy Bizzell, Frankston; (Lions Municipal Golf Course, Austin).