An emotional Holly Hines was able to see the big picture following her final round at the Division 3 girls golf state finals at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows. With a birdie-birdie finish, the Three Rivers senior placed fifth overall with a 168 total — 11 strokes behind champion Cordelia Chan from Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.
That her prep career ended without a state title, though, likely caused Hines to replay both rounds in her mind, searching for lost strokes that might have made the difference.
“I’m definitely not happy with the way I played [Saturday],” Hines said. “But finishing 2-under in the last three holes, I couldn’t have ended my high school career any better. I knew I was out of it on the last five holes; I knew I probably wasn’t going to win. But the last three holes, I just wanted to end my high school career strong. I almost eagled [the second-to-last hole] and hit it to about six feet on my last hole. That was probably the best feeling of my life.”
Hines carded a 10-over-par 83 Friday and shot 85 Saturday for all-state honors. The Wolverine Conference and regional champ, who has committed to play for upstart Central Michigan University, was the top finisher among individual qualifiers. Greer Clausen took second (160) to help drive Cranbrook-Kingswood to second place behind team champ Detroit Country Day (won on a tiebreaker).
Check out the Scoreboard page for results.
“It’s still awesome being fifth place overall with these girls,” Hines said.
Per usual, the state tourney featured rain, wind and cold temperatures. But Hines said it was inconsistent iron shots that were the real battle.
“The weather was always changing and it was hard to adapt to, but you just had to get used to it,” Hines explained. But that’s not what really killed me; it was more my iron play. My irons just were not straight and on [Saturday]. Then on the last three holes my parents said, ‘These are the last three holes you’ll ever play in your high school career.’ They were right. I’m so glad I finished strong and didn’t quit.”
After a record-setting year at Three Rivers, which included sweeping the league jamboree slate, Hines admitted that she put a great deal of pressure on herself heading into the finals.
“I know I shouldn’t have,” she said. “My parents told me I shouldn’t have. But when you win your conference and win your regionals, you’re like, ‘I can win the state.’ But there are good girls out there that I play with in summer tournaments and I know they’re good. When I went out there and just played my game is when I played the best. I wish I would have done that [the entire time], but I’m so happy with how I finished.
“This is only a snapshot of how the season has gone. I’m so ready to go play college golf and so pumped to get into such a good program that we’re starting up at Central.”