Mygrant Ready For Girls Golf State Meet

Posted on September 27, 2018 in Fall Sports, Girl's Golf

Hope Mygrant

Hope Mygrant hits a tee shot in practice for the 2018 state finals.

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
Hope Mygrant knew her golf game had improved over the past year and saw the results during a successful summer on the Indiana Junior Golf tour as well as during her sophomore season playing for Oak Hill.

But Mygrant admitted that at no point during the last 12 months did she expect or even envision doing what she was doing Wednesday evening.

Sure Mygrant might well have been on the course at Arbor Trace regardless of circumstance. But when she hit her tee shot on the first hole it wasn’t simply for leisure, it was to keep her swing and game sharp as she prepares to play against Indiana’s best during the state championship beginning Friday at Prairie View Golf Club, Carmel.

“What my coach has mentioned to me is last year I was calling him and telling him I had bad scores, and those bad scores were high 80s,” said Mygrant, about conversations she had with swing coach Scott Steger, who also works with former Oak Hill and current Butler standout Lauren Tibbets. “Now I call him and say I have a bad score and it’s the low 80s. There’s definitely improvement, but I definitely didn’t see myself here.”

In fact, the thought of qualifying for the state championship might have never occurred to Mygrant until she made the turn in the East Noble Regional on Saturday after shooting a sizzling 35 on Noble Hawk Golf Course, Kendallville. Still, with nine holes to play, the battle had really just started.

“I didn’t think about it at all and I think that’s what helped me,” Mygrant said of her opening 35. “I wasn’t thinking about pars or bogeys, but then on the backside it kind of got to me because I was trying my hardest to keep it even because I knew how well I did on the front.

“(Oak Hill coach Steve) Nelson knew I was mad so he talked me through it, which really helped a lot,” she added about the rough patch after she turned. “If I was playing without Nelson, I wouldn’t have gotten through it mentally. I put way too much pressure on myself and I get into my head too bad so he was a great help that day.”

Mygrant’s roller-coaster back nine included a pair of triple bogeys, and a shot she nearly holed out from the rough for birdie after taking an unplayable lie. She still brought it home in 43.

Nelson said the regional gave him the first opportunity all season to just follow and coach Mygrant through an entire round, as he normally would spend at least a couple of holes with all of the Golden Eagles’ golfers during matches in the regular season.

“I was happy to be able to do that and it gave me a much better feel for her game and how to kind of help manage her game around the golf course,” Nelson said. “You just learn … you try to manage your mistakes, hopefully you don’t have any mistakes. Unfortunately we had a couple that made her shoot 78. She had two triple bogeys or she could have shot 72 or 73.

“Her first nine, the hardest nine holes up there, she shot 35 and it was easy. She didn’t have to work hardly any pars…she hit every shot really just like she intended to and through 12 holes she was still even par for the day,” Nelson added. “I was thinking we might have a shot at winning, not just advancing. It was fun to watch her play …. just maturing a little bit and knowing your game, knowing what you do best and what you don’t do so well just helped her shoot a good score.”

Not just a good score, Mygrant’s 78 was a career-best score, but her second triple bogey, on her final hole of the day, left some doubt whether it would be good enough to earn a trip to state.

“I definitely felt like crying, I didn’t expect it as a sophomore,” Mygrant noted of her reaction after learning she qualified. “I knew the person last year made it our with a 78 and I was just praying that I would. The scores went up and my dad looked at me and gave me a big hug and that felt good. I felt proud of myself.”

Though Mygrant admitted to be surprised about the accomplishment, Nelson said he wasn’t shocked at all by the sophomore earning her state finals trip.

“She’s played well pretty much all year. She hadn’t broke 80 all year, but she’s had the potential,” Nelson said. “She loves the game, she works at the game, she practices at the game and she has a great swing instructor so you know the potential was there.

“She checked off a couple of milestones, breaking 80 for any golfer is a always a challenge, it’s always a big thing for people,” he added. “For her to do it in the regional, that’s pretty impressive.”

Mygrant will tee off at 10:36 a.m. Friday at Prairie View and is paired with sophomore Lia Thomas from Michigan City and senior Haley Schroeder of Jasper. She was able to go to Prairie View on Monday for an 18-hole practice round and start to get a feel for a course that will play around 800 yards longer than did Noble Hawk.

“It definitely is a challenge, there is a lot of trouble and a lot of bunkers,” she said of Prairie View. “I’m just going to go out there and try my hardest. There’s nothing to lose here anymore so I’m just going to play my game an see where that takes me.”

Mygrant’s game is still very much in its early stages, as she only first started playing while in the seventh grade. Mygrant had been involved in swimming up to then and her dad coaxed her into giving golf a try. But it wasn’t until last year that she really developed a passion for golf.

“I’m very competitive and I like that side and I liked that side because I knew its a game that you have to put it all on yourself,” Mygrant said. “It’s not like basketball where you have other people to pick you up when you’re falling. I just like how you could be competitive and work for myself.”

And Nelson believes the experience gains over her next two competitive rounds comes without a price tag.

“It’s immeasurable for her to know that she has the ability to move forward. That’s a big part of golf, confidence is the biggest thing,” Nelson said. “Everybody’s swings are different, but if you have the confidence in yourself in knowing you can do it – if she shoots 100-100 – it’s still going to be a great experience for her.”

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