The last time Columbus North had a powerhouse girls golf team, Julia Luken was a second-grader tagging along with her parents to watch her sister Katie play for the Bull Dogs.
Eight years later, North is once again a state power, and Julia Luken is one of its key players. The sophomore is the No. 4 golfer on a team that is ranked No. 3 in the state going into today’s and Saturday’s state finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
“I remember we’d practice out at Harrison Lake during the summer and fall and Julia was probably 8 or 9 years old at the time, and she’d be riding by with one of the pros at Harrison Lake going out and getting lessons,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “She’d always have these bright outfits on, and she’d smile and wave at us. We’d always wave at her and say ‘Can’t wait until you’re playing for North, Julia.’ We’re glad to finally have her here at North.”
Julia Luken, whose brother David played for the Bull Dog boys team, was North’s No. 5 golfer as a freshman last year, when they finished fifth at state. This year, she’s played in the No. 4 spot most of the season.
“I worked really hard for this time to come up,” Luken said. “I worked all winter, summer and spring to get my game to where it is now. My drives have gone a lot farther, and my short game is a lot stronger. Last year, I had a lot of high scores, and this year, I’ve gone lower and can help the team out.”
“She hits the ball a long way off the tee,” Seavers said. “She can really bomb it. I’m happy with her progression this year.”
Twice this season, Luken has fired a 38 to win medalist honors in a nine-hole match. She is averaging 43.0 for nine-hole matches and 86.5 for 18-hole tournaments, an improvement of more than seven strokes over last season on the 18-hole average.
Luken carded an 82 in the Greensburg Sectional at Greensburg Country Club and an 86 in Saturday’s Lapel Regional at Edgewood Golf Club.
“She’s been playing a lot more steady this year, and we’ve used her score in a lot of matches,” Seavers said. “As a freshman, she had some good scores, but she also had some high scores. But this year, she’s been a lot more consistent and provided several low scores for us. She had one bad round, but everything else has been solid.”
Today and Saturday, Luken and here teammates will look for more low scores as North aims for its first girls golf state championship.
“I think if we all play as we’re capable of playing, we can come home with a win,” Luken said. “But we all have to take one shot at a time.
What: Girls Golf State Finals
When: 8:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Prairie View Golf Club, 7000 Longest Dr., Carmel
Admission: $12, good for both days