North senior, state medalist Girls Golfer of the Year

Before this year’s Lapel Regional, Holly Anderson asked her parents if she could have a pair of gold hightop golf shoes if she won medalist honors.

Then, before the girls golf state finals, Anderson asked if she could have a puppy if she again was the medalist.

Fortunately for Chris and Kelly Anderson, their second-oldest of four golfing daughters is out of high school tournaments to win. The Columbus North senior swept the sectional, regional and state titles to earn The Republic Girls Golfer of the Year honors for the second consecutive year.

“It was a great way to end my senior year,” Holly Anderson said. “I struggled at the beginning of the season, but I’m happy that I ended it in a great way.”

After averaging only 40.0 in nine-hole matches during the regular season, Anderson caught fire in the postseason. She carded a 75 at Greensburg Country Club to tie for medalist with teammate Alex Munnicha and lead the Bull Dogs to the team title.

The following week, Anderson fired a 73 at Edgewood Golf Course in Anderson to win medalist honors in the Lapel Regional. Once again, North captured the team title.

“She wasn’t happy with her regular season, but we knew once the tournament started, when it gets important, she’s a true competitor,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “We didn’t have any doubt that she would kick it in at tournament time.”

A 75 in the first round of the state finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel left Anderson in a tie for seventh place, three shots out of the lead. She came back with a 1-under-par 71 over the final 18 holes to seize the individual title.

Anderson, who led the Bull Dogs to a third-place team finish, was the only player in the field to shoot under par in the final round.

“It was a storybook ending for her,” Seavers said. “She worked hard, and she earned it. She had all aspects of her game going that day. I’m really proud of her.”

The two-day 146 total was a big improvement for Anderson over last year’s state finals, when she shot rounds of 81 and 87 for a 169. Her sophomore year, she shot 81 and 90.

Both of those years, though, at least one of the rounds was played in rainy and windy conditions.

“I hadn’t played well at state the past few years, and it was finally good weather, so I’m like, ‘OK, maybe I can actually put up a good round here,'” Anderson said. “So I just kept practicing every day.”

After the team would practice at Otter Creek during this postseason, Anderson stayed and hit balls on the range and worked on her chipping until dark. That extra work paid off.

“I’m happy,” Anderson said. “I’m sad that it’s over, though. It hasn’t really hit me yet that my senior year is over.”

Anderson, who averaged 76.1 in 18-hole matches and 38.7 per nine holes played, is now cheering for the North basketball teams. She was a cheerleader her freshman and sophomore years, but gave it up last year to focus on golf.

This summer, Anderson verbally committed to join her sister Sydney on the Ball State women’s golf team. Sydney Anderson was a three-time state qualifier and three-time The Republic Girls Golfer of the Year from 2012-14.

“My goal has always been to be just like Sydney because she’s such a great golfer,” Holly Anderson said.

At a glance

The Republic All-Area Girls Golf Team:

Holly Anderson, Columbus North: The senior averaged 38.7 per nine holes and won sectional, regional and state medalist honors.

Danbi Kim, Columbus North: The junior averaged 38.4 per nine holes and tied for fifth in the state finals.

Alex Munnicha, Columbus North: The sophomore averaged 39.4 per nine holes and tied with Anderson for sectional medalist honors.

Julia Luken, Columbus North: The junior averaged 41.4 per nine holes.

Aubrey Smith, Columbus North: The senior averaged 42.78 per nine holes and set a nine-hole school record with a 32.

Emma Bawinkel, Brown County: The senior averaged 40.5 per nine holes and qualified for state as an individual.

Ashley Masteller, Brown County: The sophomore averaged 44.4 per nine holes and qualified for regional as an individual.

Lily Shelp, Columbus East: The junior averaged 44.9 per nine holes.

Autumn Fateley, Columbus East: The junior averaged 45.1 per nine holes.

Zoe Rangel, Columbus East: The junior averaged 46.5 per nine holes.

Honorable mention

Columbus East: Morgan Harrison, Liz Kroger, Natalie Ryan. Columbus North: Annie Anderson, Molly Donnell. Edinburgh: Kenzie Hill, Vanessa McManaway. Jennings County: Peyton Whitehead. South Decatur: Annie Gant, Shelby Vannatta, Lydia Wolterman. Trinity Lutheran: Macy Taylor.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.