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Three county golfers advance to regional

Monday, September 22, 2008

BRAZIL -- Going up against the likes of Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North and Northview, the team competition at Saturday's Northview girls' golf sectional looked to be all sewn up before the competition even started. There was an outside shot of a team like South Putnam wrecking the party, but for Putnam County's golfers, it looked more like a day for individual accomplishments.

(Photo)
Heather Hughes
And on that front, the county schools maximized their potential, with each of them sending one girl on to regional.

Still alive for this Saturday's Martinsville regional are South Putnam's Heather Hughes, Cloverdale's Kayla Langdon and Greencastle Chelsea Samuels.

"I'm very happy for all the Putnam County kids," Cloverdale coach Ken Williams said. "They represent the county very well and each of the three schools."

After shooting a 43 on her opening nine, Hughes dropped two strokes on Forest Park's tough back nine to shoot a 41 and card an 84 for the round.

"I'm really excited for Heather. She worked hard and had a good round. Hopefully she has a good round next Saturday at Foxcliff," South Putnam coach Debbie Steffy said.

CHS junior Langdon fired a 41 on the front and added a 44 on the back, to total 85.

"We were hopeful Kayla would have the chance to get in there, and she did. She earned the opportunity, so that's about what we expected," Williams said.

For Samuels, the opening nine was the best golf she's played, as she carded a 39. On the back, the sophomore struggled a bit, as she had a 46. However, she held on to tie Langdon for the third qualifying spot at 85.

"Chelsea played the best golf she's ever played on the front nine; 39 is her best nine-hole score. She struggled a little more on the back nine -- it's a little harder nine. She was able to hang in there," Tiger Cub coach Brad Kingma said. "That was the goal we had for her from the beginning of the season, to get her through to regional."

Also qualifying as an individual was South Vermillion freshman Bailey Craft, who shot an 82.

(Photo)
Kayla Langdon
In the team competition, it was the big schools advancing, as expected. The Braves dominated the day, with three players shooting in the 70s. They won the sectional with a 323. Second was Terre Haute North's 358. Host Northview was third with a 373.

But South Putnam finished just outside the action, finishing fourth with a 384.

"We came into this knowing that we were playing in the second group. There were four teams playing in front of us," Steffy said. "We had the mindset that we had a chance, but for us to finish fourth, that's a really good thing for us. These kids are excited about it. They're really happy."

After Hughes' 85, fellow junior Grace Aker added a 90. Sophomores Cassie Warren and Kelsey Searles closed the scoring with a 100 and a 110, respectively. Sarah Dobson was just behind at 112.

"I was really pleased with the way the rest of the girls played. I kind of expected this out of Heather, to be able to shoot like this. The other girls, especially the sophomores, did a really nice job," Steffy said.

Greencastle shot a 432 to finish seventh on the day. Like Steffy, Kingma had goals for his team, but was realistic in his expectations. Samuels was the only golfer coming in with sectional experience.

"We're happy. We knew we'd have some struggles," Kingma said. "Some of the less experienced girls had their good rounds and their bad rounds. Today was not quite as well as they can play."

Diane Wokoun carded Greencastle's second score with a 112. Katie Hedge was next at 114. Kristen Hutcheson added a 121, and Kay Wood was in at 124.

Hedge, who made All-WCC and All-County for the Tiger Cubs, was disappointed in her day, but Kingma said he was happy with what she was able to do leading up to sectional.

"Katie had been playing really well, and she just had a bad round. I know she was disappointed, but she really finished strong."

(Photo)
Chelsea Samuels
For the Clovers, Saturday was a learning experience, much as the entire year has been. They placed ninth in the team competition, but the day's focus was on individual improvement.

"When you're playing like we are, it's a day for individual accomplishments. Some good things happened. We're happy with that," Williams said.

Elizabeth Wiley came in behind Langdon with a 110. Victoria Boyette was next at 117. Erica Looper rounded out the day with a 144.

The focus for these three now turns to next year. Wiley has come far from where she was a year ago. Williams hopes to see more of this from her, as well as his younger golfers following that lead.

"Elizabeth improved by 24 strokes over last year at the same course, so that's a pretty sizeable improvement," Williams said.

This sentiment was shared by all three coaches. Not one of the 14 Putnam County golfers in action on Saturday were seniors, so the coaches are all excited about the potential for 2009.

"These kids work really hard. This summer, most of them are going to have their licenses, and that's just going to help us. They'll be out there and they'll be playing," Steffy said.

"The other girls are excited and already making their plans to work on improving for next year," Kingma commented.

For next week's regional, though, it's on to Foxcliff Golf Club. The course is tough and the competition is even tougher. Hughes and Langdon both have experience from last year's regional, but Samuels will get her first taste of it on Saturday.

"We know regional is tough, so we're just going to go there and see what happens," Kingma said.

"We'll see what happens next week," Williams said. "A year ago, Kayla had some difficulties. It's a tough course over there. But she's been there, she's experienced, and I look for her to play a lot better over there than she did this time a year ago."

The Martinsville Regional begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Foxcliff Golf Club.

At Forest Park

Northview Girls' Golf Sectional

Team Results (Top 3 advance)

Terre Haute South 323, Terre Haute North 358, Northview 373, South Putnam 384, South Vermillion 401, Owen Valley 414, Greencastle 432, West Vigo 446, Cloverdale456, Rockville 552

Medalist -- Gosnell (THS) 75

Individuals advancing -- Craft (SV) 82, Hughes (SP) 84, Langdon (C) 85, Samuels (G) 85

Cloverdale (456) -- Langdon 41-44--85, Wiley 553-57--110, Boyette 62-55--117, Looper 73-71--144

Greencastle (432) -- Samuels 39-46--85, Wokoun 59-53--112, Hedge 58-56--114, Hutcheson 65-56--121, Wood 57-67--124

Northview (373) -- Oehler 42-43--85, Thomlinson 44-45--90, Pursell 49-46--95, Trout 47-56--103, Miller 51-54--105

Owen Valley (414) -- Marsh 47-49--93, Kinser 46-52--98, F. Jones 51-49--100, K. Jones 64-59--123, Schroughan61-64--125

Rockville (552) -- Vukovits 62-69--131, Gregg 71-63--134, Harrington 64-75--139, Miller 77-71--148

South Putnam (384) -- Hughes 43-41--81, Aker 44-46--90, Warren 50-50--100, Searles 55-55--110, Dobson 57-55--112

South Vermillion (401) -- Craft 41-41-82, Milam 46-54--100, Bruce 54-49--103, powell 60-56--116, Gilbert 61-60--121

Terre Haute North (358) -- Welker 40-41--81, Colwell 41-44--85, Kaderak 46-47--93, Helt 47-52--99, Adams 55-48--103

Terre Haute South (323) -- Gosnell 34-41--75, Engle 40-39-79, Fuqua 37-42--79, Whitlock 48-42--90, Walburn 47-46--93

Next match -- Hughes, Langdon and Samuels advance to next Saturday's Martinsville Regional at Fox Cliff Golf Club.



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