It was a hectic end to the regular season for San Luis Obispo High School senior golfer Isabel Carpenter.
After a freshman teammate was disqualified for accidentally hitting the wrong ball during the PAC 8 finals at Chalk Mountain Golf Course in Atascadero, the Tigers’ championship fate was up in the air. The mistake caused some confusion between the coaches, but following a lengthy discussion, a decision was reached — SLO High would be PAC 8 champion for the second year in a row.
“It was intense waiting for that last score,” Carpenter said. “When we realized we had won, we all just went from sad and full of tears to excited.”
That moment celebrating with her team, Carpenter said, was the most memorable of a standout senior season full of individual highlights.
“We were like a little family,” Carpenter said. “It was always just such a strong bond between us. That was the best part of the four years.”
Carpenter led the Tigers all season with a 39.4 scoring average and shot the low score in 10 of 11 dual matches and three of seven league tournaments. Since last summer, Carpenter has steadily improved her game, dropping her handicap from 4.1 to 1.8. For her accomplishments, Carpenter has been named The Tribune’s Girls Golfer County Player of the Year.
“When I got into (junior) tournaments and I was playing with girls that were better than me, it made me mad. I wanted to do well,” Carpenter said.
Her falling scores and success in local junior tournaments earned her a nine-hole tryout of sorts with the girls golf team at Cal State Monterey Bay last month. After a shaky start, Carpenter settled in and shot 2-over par.
“I just realized that I am shooting just as far as these girls, striking just as well as them. When I realized that, I got all this confidence,” Carpenter said.
The next day she got a call from the head coach, who offered her a spot on the Division II team.
“I was freaking out,” Carpenter said.
Last month, Carpenter signed her letter of intent to join the school next fall.