GEORGETOWN — Mia Ayer had no problem getting in prime position for birdies.
Once she got there, however, the baffling greens setup of Legacy Hills Golf Course reared its ugly head.
The Midway senior was unable to sink a birdie during the second round of the Class 6A girls state golf tournament on Tuesday at the Georgetown course, but didn’t let the unforgiving greens derail her day. She finished with a respectable 76 and bowed out of the two-day tournament in a tie for 13th with a 150.
“It was really frustrating that I couldn’t sink any birdie putts,” Ayer said. “It wasn’t like I wasn’t putting a good roll on the putts — I thought I was, and maybe it was my green reading that was off. I definitely had a hard time reading the green.”
The tournament served as Ayer’s final high school event, capping a successful prep golf career that includes three straight trips to state. She placed eighth as a sophomore in 2014 but finished in the middle of the pack last season — also at Legacy Hills — after a rough second round.
Her 2016 score is 12 strokes better than the same event in 2015, and a 13th-place finish is nothing to hang her head about in a field that saw Lake Travis’ Kristen Gillman take top honors with a 141.
But Ayer likely wouldn’t turn down another chance to do battle with Legacy Hills’ greens.
“They’re pretty slow and maybe the breaks are subtle,” Ayer said. “There aren’t really any major obvious breaks. There are, but around the holes especially, it looks like it levels off, but there’s a subtle break somewhere and it’s easy to miss.”
The Notre Dame signee entered Tuesday’s second round looking to ride the momentum of a 74 on Monday, which included three straight birdies on holes 9-11 that pushed her to 2-under par before she cooled off later on the back nine.
Had it not been for the lack of birdies, she might’ve been the golfer to beat. She hit 15 of 18 greens on the approach, but was forced into three-putts and missed opportunities that resulted in more pars than she would’ve liked.
“She hit fairway after fairway and green after green,” Midway head coach Harvie Welch said. “That’s what she usually does. She’s so consistent, and if she gets the putter hot, she’s going to shoot a really low score.”
Ayer stepped off No. 18 to a round of applause alongside her foursome of fellow individual qualifiers that included Houston Cy-Fair’s Grace Do, Coppell’s Grace Ni and Klein Oak’s Amelia McKee, who finished tied for seventh and tied for ninth, respectively.
Lake Travis successfully defended its 6A title in dominant fashion, shooting a team score of 580 to beat fellow Austinite Westlake by 27 strokes.
For Ayer, she now trades in the red and blue of Midway for navy and gold next season, when she begins collegiate play for Notre Dame. She’ll also compete in summer tournaments before heading to South Bend.
“She’s just an outstanding young lady, and whatever she does, she’s going to be successful, I do know that,” Welch said. “Notre Dame did their homework when they were recruiting her, and Notre Dame is going to be a better place with Mia Ayer there.”
Priest finishes 16th
Lorena’s Steelie Priest climbed the Class 4A girls leaderboard with a stellar showing on Tuesday, shooting a 79 on Day 2 to finish 16th overall with a 165 at Onion Creek Golf Club in Austin.
In the Class 2A girls tournament at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, Hamilton shot a two-day team total of 828 to finish sixth overall. Kameron McKandless carded a 97 on Day 2 to lead the Bulldogs with a 189.
Crawford’s Hannah Williams was the lowest Central Texas scorer in the event, shooting a 183 as an individual participant. Williams finished in a tie for 18th place.
In the boys’ events, Robinson’s Chase Allison improved on his opening-day 78 by carding a 73 in the second round of the Class 4A tournament at Onion Creek, finishing 11th.
Bryson Nail of Mart beat his first-round score by five strokes with an 83 on Tuesday, finishing with a 171 in the 2A event. Rosebud-Lott’s Colton McCeig shot 81-82-163 and Moody’s Jax Horton closed out one stroke behind with rounds of 78 and 86 for a 164.
Belton sophomore William Paysee shot 74 Tuesday to finish with a two-day total of 150 in the Class 6A boys event in Georgetown.
The Class 1A and 3A tournaments will be held Wednesday and Thursday.