Girls’ Golfers Get Experience With First Invite

Posted on August 4, 2017 in Fall Sports, Girl's Golf

by Scott Hunt – Chronicle-Tribune
HUNTINGTON — There is  no substitute for  experience when it comes to playing competitive rounds of golf.
The girls golf teams from Marion and Oak Hill began their seasons  Wednesday in the 16-team Huntington North Invitational on the hot and hilly links at Norwood Golf Course, and though neither had enough girls to turn in a team score for the first match of the season, the round served as an important starting point for teams just looking to improve.
Marion started the day with four players, but senior Greer Decker had to withdraw midway through her round, while the Golden Eagles started with just three.
What was truly important about the first round of the season for both teams is it serves as a starting point for inexperienced golfers, a first day of school of sorts. And the goal for both Giants coach Jerry Freshwater and Eagles coach Mike Tibbets and the players is simply to see how much they can improve before they return to Norwood in about six weeks for the sectional. 
“It’s important to see what you did here and know there’s only room for improvement,” Freshwater said. “Now we know the holes, we played it early, and we’ll better know how to prepare for it. Hopefully, we’ll be able to come back and practice here again before sectional. That’s our biggest goal is improving and getting ready for sectional. The girls know they can improve and they’re willing to work hard and improve.”
There were a lot of good shots hit, and many  wayward ones as well.
Oak Hill freshman Hope Mygrant led the county’s players with a 99, while senior teammate Brooke Law added a 101. Senior Jessica Mooney was best for the Giants with 103, and her sophomore sister Olivia had 113.  Sophomore Morgan Nelson improved more than 30 shots over last season to shoot 119 for Oak Hill.
Sophomore Madison Endsley finished with 133 for Marion.
“Thats what this is all about getting that first round under their  belts, knowing the course learning the course because our sectional is here,” Tibbets said. “All the girls did well. Hope shot 99, that’s a pretty good number for her, Brooke took a lot of strokes off last year, Morgan Nelson took over 30 strokes off last year. She hit a lot of hazard shots, or trouble shots, that’s just eating away at strokes. All of them were doing it. We’ll get that figured our and move on from here.”
When Oak Hill next tees it up, Aug. 9 against the Giants and Southwood at Meshingomesia, Tibbets expects to have a full five-girl roster. Juniors Bayli Toy and Korinne Perkins, both newcomers to the game, have been practicing but Tibbets wants to break them in slowly with some nine-hole competitions.
Toy and Perkins spent most of Wednesday with Tibbets and gained valuable experience without playing. 
“They rode around and spent a lot time with me – they actually got to see a golf match,” Tibbets said. “They’re going to learn a lot and they did learn a lot today and they realize that they can play with these girls.
“And it’s good for all of them to just set a number. Now we start pecking away at that,” he added. “This is the first number, now we’re going to bring it down every we time we play. That’s the goal.”
Freshwater anticipates the Giants also having five girls available Friday at Walnut Creek for a three-way match with Mississinewa and host Madison-Grant at 4:30 p.m. He’s hopeful to have Decker back as well as junior Kasey Clark to go with the three girls  who competed Wednesday.  His post-round message to the Giants was to keep their heads up and continue to work hard. 
“They had some good holes.  The short game got some strokes on them,” Freshwater said. “There is some course management and all those little things to get those scores down. Overall, we’re happy with where we are at. Some of the girls are down a little bit about their scores, but they played and finished and  hopefully we’ll bounce back on Friday
“It’s a learning experience for these girls and that’s a good thing.”
Fort Wayne Dwenger ran away with the team title shooting 319 followed by  Huntington North (360) and Manchester (365). Dwenger’s Sarah Frazier was medalist with a 73.

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