XENIA — After just one tee shot, Brynna Mardis had a good feeling about her season-opening golf match this week.
The Xenia High School junior couldn’t have walked down the 10th fairway at WGC Golf Course and placed the ball any better.
“That’s always good for me,” she said. “It gives me a little momentum.”
Mardis — golfing for just the third year — had a chip-in birdie and was two under through four holes en route to a girls school record and personal-best 34 on the par 36 back nine, helping lead Xenia to a win over West Carrollton, 171-266. Her previous best score was 39.
“I think I’m still kind of in shock,” Mardis said. “I didn’t really expect to go out and do that good. I was expecting to shoot a good score. (But) I wasn’t putting that high of an expectation on myself. It was crazy.”
Her round also included a knee-knocking eagle from four feet on her seventh hole (no. 16 on the course), which put her at three under at that point.
Funny thing is that unlike her opening tee shot — which led to a par — her drive on the dogleg right 16th wasn’t ideal.
“My drive actually went right and landed in trees,” Mardis said. “Somehow I had a shot (to the green). Just like a break in the trees where I had a path to the hole.”
She whacked her four hybrid from about 176 yards to just a few feet from the hole.
“It was a very good shot,” Mardis said. “(But) I couldn’t see it on the green.”
Teammate Olivia Wagner, who finished with a 39, told Mardis it was on the green and was rolling up to the hole.
“I was like, ‘what?’ ” Mardis said.
It was the second career eagle for Mardis, who recorded one a couple months ago in a practice round. She had a bogey on the eighth hole (no. 17) and a par on the final hole.
Then Coach Kent Anderson told her the good news.
“I kind of had a feeling that I might have (set the record),” Mardis said. “In the moment I was kind of relieved that I didn’t blow up in the last couple holes. Super happy with how it turned out.”
Mardis credits her practice schedule for her first-match success. She tries to practice six days a week with one off day.
“Lately I’ve been putting my time in,” she said “Been practicing a lot. I have high expectations for myself. I want to be good. I know I can be.”
Mardis has that same feeling for the entire Xenia team.
“Out team has been setting a lot of school records recently, last season, this season,” she said. “That’s our goal. To keep setting new records. We’re all really close. Everybody supports each other. We want each other to do good.”
And hit ‘em right down the middle. Or in the trees.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.