MARTINSVILLE -- A tough course and some even tougher competition spelled the end of the season for Putnam County girls' golfers Saturday at IHSAA Girls Golf Regional No. 6.
The site was Martinsville's Foxcliff Golf Club. Not only is Foxcliff a normally challenging course, it was longer than normal for the event.
"When you look at the yardage of the course that we played with the moving of the tee boxes, what we're used to is somewhere around 2,300 to 2,500 yards per nine holes, and we played a little over 2,700 on both sides. So you're talking about playing an extra hole or two for the day," South Putnam coach Debbie Steffy said.
In the end, South Putnam shot a 406 to finish ninth out of 12 schools. Cloverdale's Kayla Langdon, who advanced out of sectional as an individual, fired a 107.
Martinsville won the event, shooting a 316. Columbus North (329) and Avon (330) finished second and third. All three teams will advance to next weekend's state finals.
Avon's Breanna Patz was medalist with a 76. Those advancing as individuals were Monrovia's Julia Porter (82), Brownsburg's Jordan Woods (83) and Kelsey Fuqua (84) of Terre Haute South.
Sophomore Heather Hughes led the way for the Eagles, shooting a 90. Classmate Grace Aker was next, with a 95.
Considering the challenge of the course, Steffy was very pleased with the scores of her two young players.
"I was really happy for our sophomores, Heather Hughes and Grace Aker, because they played very well," Steffy said. "I was really happy with the scores that those two girls put up. I thought they really played well. They were pleased with their scores also."
Emily Zimmerman fired a 104, and Chelsea Clark finished out the scoring with a 117. Tosha Fisher shot a 127. All three girls are seniors, so Steffy was disappointed for -- not with -- them.
"I was disappointed for our seniors. I wasn't upset with them, but I was disappointed for them because I know they wanted to play better than the way they played," Steffy said. "Their scores obviously weren't as good as what they would have hoped for."
The end of the season was particularly disappointing for Zimmerman. Having played No. 1 for the Eagles and performing at a high level, this was not how she wanted to go out.
"I was especially disappointed for Emily," Steffy said. The coach explained they thought coming in that Zimmerman might be able to score somewhere in the mid-80s and be in contention to advance to state. She simply had a rough day at the wrong tournament.
"It just wasn't her day," Steffy said.
However, the Eagles' golf program is as strong as it's ever been. The coach said this was a credit to Zimmerman, Clark and Fisher, each of whom is a four-year player.
"They have done a really good job of helping us build our program," Steffy said. "This was the first time in the history of the program we were able to advance to regional. That was a good thing and something those girls were able to help accomplish."
They were also part of this year's WCC and Putnam County championship team.
"I'm sure those girls will be proud of that," Steffy said. "Overall, we just had a good year."
Of Langdon's regional appearance, CHS coach Ken Williams said, "It's an experience."
To advance to regional as a sophomore was a big deal for Langdon's high school golf experience. He said they were focusing on the future, to Langdon's junior and senior seasons.
More specifically, Williams hoped Langdon's experience of playing with some big hitters who were using drivers would encourage her to develop that part of her own game.
Likewise, Steffy is also beginning to look at the future. Having her two best scores in regional come from sophomores certainly had to be encouraging in some way.
"I'm really pleased about that," Steffy said. "The two sophomores are great kids who will be good leaders in our program, and I think they'll be good for our freshmen who will be sophomores next year."
Steffy has also seen some promising signs from some of her freshmen who were junior varsity this season.
"We had four freshmen this year who played for us," Steffy said. "I talked to two of them in the last week or so, and both of them made the comment that they knew this summer they were going to have to work and improve and step up and be able to do some scoring for us. That made me happy to that they had already realized that before I even had an end of the year meeting with them to talk about that."
"I'm very happy and very pleased, and I look forward to next year," Steffy concluded.
Foxcliff Golf Club
IHSAA Girls' Golf Regional 6
Martinsville 316, Columbus North 329, Avon 330, Center Grove 369, Bloomington South 375, Jennings County 378, Terre Haute South 387, Brownsburg 395, South Putnam 406, Seymour 417, Salem 426, Northview 426
(Putnam County only)
South Putnam -- Heather Hughes 90, Grace Aker 95, Emily Zimmerman 104, Chelsea Clark 117, Tosha Fisher 127
Cloverdale -- Kayla Langdon 107