GALENA — After just missing out last year, Mount Vernon’s Maggie Williams advanced to district play again her senior year.

Williams fired a 78 at Royal American Links on Tuesday in the Division I Sectional tournament, picking up the fourth overall and third individual qualifier spot.

“It was a good day,” said Mount Vernon golf coach Anthony Savage. “She actually played better than what her score was. She hit the ball really well, played really sound, simple golf all day.”

Williams started the day well, firing a one-over-par 37 on the front nine. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly on the back nine, but she was able to limit the big numbers and came in with a 41. Her 18-hole total of 78 placed her fourth overall. Dye Hayley of Delaware Hayes was medalist with an even-par 72. Mariana Vega of Licking Heights was next at 73, followed by Audrey Ryu of Dublin Jerome and Williams.

“The course played firm and fast, and the wind kicked up. That made it that much more difficult and that much more firm and fast,” Savage said. “Then, when there is the added pressure of a senior playing, potentially, their last round, it makes it that much more difficult.”

The MV senior qualified for district for the third time in four years. She finished fifth overall as a freshman (78) and sixth overall her sophomore year (79) in making it out to district. Her junior year, Williams didn’t qualify for districts, but still finished ninth in her sectional at 80.

“Making it three out of four times is not easy in golf,” Savage said. “It’s nice to have our program represented at the district level and it’s nice to see her hard work rewarded. This proves to our young guys that if they can stick with the process, or just buy in to what we’re doing, there is success to be had.

“Maggie is the epitome of this principle and today was a microcosm of that. She was patient. She knows the hard work does not always immediately get rewarded, but you can continue to buy in and believe. If you do the right things, you’ll eventually get rewarded. It’s nice to see that reward for her.”

Williams will now head to district competition on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at New Albany Links. She will begin play at 11 a.m. on the back nine.

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Fred Main: 740-397-5333 or fmain@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews