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Shrum wins playoff hole to clinch berth in state final

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cloverdale senior Sydney Shrum advanced to the IHSAA State Final in thrilling fashion Saturday by winning a sudden-death playoff hole.
(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT) [Order this photo]
GREENWOOD -- A good tee shot. A missed putt. A wayward bounce. A saving chip shot.

The littlest details mattered for Cloverdale senior Sydney Shrumon on a windswept Smock Golf Course in Greenwood Saturday morning, afternoon and evening.

The details culminated in a playoff hole for the right to go to the IHSAA State Final golf match to which Shrum and Whiteland's Alexa West managed to find a route through at the expense of Cascade's Jessica Smyth.

After shooting a round of 82 on the day, Shrum, her family, friends and coach Matthew Langdon, watched nervously as scores rolled in over a nearly two-hour period.

With No. 11 Center Grove, Avon and Perry Meridian still on the course, there was no guarantee of any additional golf being needed.

As foursome after foursome came through, however, it began to become clear that a playoff looked very likely between Shrum, WCC champion Smyth and No. 19 Whiteland's West, whose team was knocked out of the top three by eventual team champions No. 5 Carmel.

Such were the fine lines that the regional medalist, No. 18 Roncalli's Abbey Gleixner , finished with a 79, three shots in front of the playoff group.

Four rounds of 80 followed. Two counted among Carmel's team score while the other two sent Martinsville's Taylor Wilson and Monrovia's Chrislyn Church through to the state finals, leaving two spots left for three players.

Trotted back out to hole No. 1, the longest on the Smock course, Shrum, Smyth and West drew lots and Shrum started the 19th hole with a drive to the right of the fairway. Smyth went short down the center while West's tee shot went left.

Smyth hit down the right with her second shot, West moved down the middle and Shrum, with her ball on a downslope, pulled the ball to the left of the cart path running parallel to the fairway.

Smyth's third landed in the bunker in front of the green, while West hit from the middle past the green to the back left.

Shrum, meanwhile, played the shot of the hole when she managed a fade that bounced in front of the green and nestled in just behind the putting surface.

Smyth needed two shots to get on the green from the bunker while West landed a chip 25 feet from the pin.

Shrum hit back to in front of the green with her fourth shot, but chipped to within seven feet to set up a makeable put.

West needed two putts to make six and Smyth missed her putt on her sixth stroke to leave Shrum the chance to close out the round with her own short putt.

Shrum held her nerve, sank the putt and ended the playoff round with herself and West advancing to the Legends of Indiana at Smyth's expense.

Having settled the final two spots in a nerve-shredding final hole, the trio hugged, shook hands and released the pent-up emotion each had held in check for nearly 20 minutes in scenes of joy and sorrow.

Shrum said afterwards that having to eliminate Smyth was difficult to do.

"I thought I needed to par the playoff hole and that's what was going to go through. I didn't think bogey was going to cut it," Shrum said. "I wouldn't have hit my third shot normally. I knew I had to give myself a chance to get up there because I still thought then that par was going to advance.

"They both played safe second shots to hit on in three. I didn't watch Jessica hit her third shot. I couldn't make myself watch that shot," Shrum added.

Langdon said that Shrum handled pressure that no one else has had to deal with.

"I'm very proud of her and how she handled that last playoff hole. I don't know if they've ever had a playoff before. It used to be the top three and any tied went through," Langdon said. "It was a fun experience to be a part of, win or lose. That was what I told Sydney before she went out, that it was something fun to be a part of, something to look back on.

"I was proud of how she stayed in there on the front nine. It was important, during a couple of spots in the round, that the game could have gotten away from her," Langdon added.

"But she stayed in there, posted a 42 on the back nine, which was her first nine holes, and that gave her a chance."

Shrum wasn't so sure that the score was going to be good enough, but was surprised upon realizing where she was after her round concluded.

"It was really hard, especially when I was going over shots. I missed a two-foot put because I rushed the shot. If I hit that, I wouldn't have had to go to a playoff," Shrum said.

"There were three putts I could have saved. With an 82, I didn't even think I had a chance but when I walked in, I saw I was in third place.

"Coming in, I didn't think I would be in it with an 82. This course seemed simple in practice rounds and I thought 70's were going to get out," Shrum added.

Shrum played her foursome with a familiar face and Langdon attributed that continual battle to keeping Shrum in the match.

"I think it was great she had to play with (Chrislyn) Church. They battled all day and were one or two strokes away from each other the entire time. I think that helped her stay in it," Langdon said.

"It was tough for her to go against a good friend in Smyth in the playoff. She was confident going out and was calm in knowing what she had to do."

"She concentrated shot to shot. She made a great third shot, a low draw around a tree that put her in position to go to the state meet," Langdon added.

Shrum was not the only Putnam County golfer at Greenwood Saturday as Caitlyn and Kyndra Boyce of South Putnam also made the trip south of Indianapolis.

Caitlyn Boyce shot 96 to close her Eagle golfing career while Kyndra Boyce fired a 108 in conditions that were fierce at best by the middle of the afternoon.

South Putnam head coach Brian McClure said that the round may have been tough but seeing the duo play was well worth the additional week of work.

"They did pretty well for the most part. I'm very proud of them. We had a fun week and a good experience playing at the regional," McClure said.

"They got to play with some great competition in some difficult conditions and for the most part, they played well.

"Caitlyn shot a pretty good score of 96 in some windy, cold conditions. Kyndra's 108 was pretty good as well," McClure added.

"It was good experience for Kyndra to play against some of the schools here and to make it a goal to be here again next year," McClure said. "Caitlyn gave us four great years so it was exciting to see her end her career having been able to advance to the regional round and play a great round to finish on."

Langdon said there would be little deviation from the normal day-to-day routine in preparation for the state meet.

"We'll keep a pretty similar routine. She'll have a practice round, a session with a swing coach and we'll keep it pretty normal," Langdon said.

"We'll go out to Clover Meadows, hit some balls and play 18 holes there. We'll enjoy the experience. She wants to compete, but I want to make sure she enjoys the ride on the way."

Shrum, who was still drinking in the totality of the day, was looking forward to the chance to finish her career at the Legends of Indiana this weekend.

"Everything paid off," she said. "One missed shot doesn't mean you're out of it. I got another chance. I 'm excited. There are no other words to describe it."

At Smock Golf Course, Greenwood
IHSAA Girls' Golf Regional
Advancing to State Final
No. 5 Carmel 334, No. 12 Zionsville 356, Greenwood 356

Medalist: Abbey Gleixner (Roncalli) 73

Individuals Advancing to State Final
Abbey Gleixner 79, Chrislyn Church (Monrovia) 80, Taylor Wilson (Martinsville) 80, Sydney Shrum (Cloverdale) 82*, Alexa West (Whiteland) 82*
* Denotes Playoff Winners

Next Match: Shrum will take part in the IHSAA Girls' Golf State Finals Friday and Saturday at The Legends of Indiana Golf Club in Franklin. Rounds being at 8:30 a.m. both days.

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Anyone from a Putnam County school that advances to the state finals deserves a big "way to go!"

-- Posted by conffool on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 2:02 AM

great job!! dont stop now

-- Posted by Terrywhite1947 on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 11:03 PM

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