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HUNTINGTON — Taylor Sargent has become a major force in girls golf.

The Cabell Midland High School junior won the West Virginia Girls Invitational golf tournament for the second time in three seasons Tuesday at the Mingo Bottom Golf Course in Elizabeth, West Virginia. Sargent shot a tournament-record 1-over-par, 73, to edge defending champion Molly McLean of Parkersburg by one stroke in the championship division. Hurricane’s Savannah Hawkins finished third with a 3-over, 75.

“It feels awesome to get the win again,” said Sargent, who also won in 2019. I didn’t really know just how close it was down the stretch, but it was really fun to play with friends and we really pushed each other and the scores showed that.”

Sargent said she won the tournament on the greens. She made five birdies.

“I think my putting was the difference today,” she said. “I got the speeds down pretty quickly and I was able to roll in a lot of birdies.”

Cabell Midland coach Matt Stead said he was happy for Sargent, who shot 82 last year to finish fourth behind McLean, Kerri-Ann Cook of Westside and Hawkins. Cook placed fifth Tuesday, shooting 77, one stroke behind Sara Veara of Berkeley Springs.

“I’m just really proud of Taylor today,” Stead said. “Every time something didn’t go her way or things got tense, she really stepped it up and hit great shots or made a tough putt. To me, that just a sign of maturity and mental toughness.”

Angelina Duriez (78) of Spring Mills, Emerson Simons (80) of Roane County, Brielle Milhoan (82) of Parkersburg, Marra Johnson (83) of Bridgeport and Isabella Ferrell (84) of Morgantown rounded out the top 10 in the 28-player field. Maddie Erwin of Winfield shot 92 to finish 13th.

Olivia Hart of Hurricane won the initial tournament in 2018, shooting 75 to nip Wheeling Park’s Dorothy Romanek by two strokes.

In Tuesday’s Open Division, Lauren Cline of Parkersburg South shot 45 to win by five strokes over runner-up Sydney Coss of John Marshall.

Tim Stephens is a sports writer with The Herald-Dispatch.

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