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Chris Anderson used to read about the Columbus North girls golf team in the newspaper and think about his four daughters someday playing for the Bull Dogs.
Now, his oldest daughter, Sydney, is the top golfer as a junior for 17th-ranked North, and Holly, a freshman, is also one of the Bull Dogs’ top players as they head into today’s Conference Indiana Tournament at Harrison Lake Country Club.
“I’m just a weekend golfer, but I used to read the paper, and I was so impressed with our golfers — Erinn Sutton and girls like that — when they played,” Chris Anderson said. “I took them all out to Otter Creek, and we would all sit behind Erinn Sutton and watch her hit golf balls. I said ‘Girls, what an awesome thing to do.’”
Sutton, now a junior on the Indiana State squad, along with current Missouri senior Taylor Gohn, led North to a third-place state finish in 2008 and a ninth in 2009.
“I remember sitting on the range and watching (Sutton) hit, and my dad would always say ‘She goes to North. You might be as good as her someday,’” Sydney Anderson said. “Now, she’s playing college golf, and it’s nice to know that I’m going to be able to play college golf.”
“I think it was cool being able to watch a great golfer golf and hoping to be as good as her,” Holly Anderson said.
The Andersons are on their way. Sydney tied for 11th at state after qualifying as an individual last season. She’s been the Bull Dogs’ top golfer again this year, averaging 37.4 for nine-hole matches and 77.0 for 18-hole tournaments.
“Even over last year’s great year, she’s improved,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “She’s had no bad matches and has had a great year.”
Holly, meanwhile, has played No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 for North and averages 46.6 for nine-hole matches and 78.3 for 18.
“I did expect her to come in and play well and be a good player for us, but I didn’t know she was going to play to the level that she’s been playing,” Seavers said. “I’m thrilled with her play, though.”
Holly was just hoping to make the top five after going through a swing change this summer.
“It’s helped me a lot,” Holly said.
“I wasn’t sure at first because over the summer, swing changes for her were kind of making her scores go up,” Sydney said. “She was shooting in the 100s, but then she came in and shot an 84 at our first invite, and she shot a 44 out here (at Harrison Lake), so she’s progressed and done well so far.”
While Sydney can drive the ball 260 yards, Holly isn’t far behind.
“She’s outdriven me a couple times, which is different because not many people outdrive me,” Sydney said. “She hit it about 10 yards past me the other day, and I didn’t know what to think about that.”
Younger sisters Annie, 12, and Gwinnie, 10, have taken up the game. They are students at Richards Elementary, where their mother Kelly is a kindergarten teacher.
They hope to follow in the footsteps of Sydney, who began playing in tournaments at age 8, and Holly.
“(Sydney) took onto it better than I thought she would,” Chris Anderson said. “Then, the other girls were kind of there when she played, and it’s been a nice surprise that Holly has taken off and been playing with her.”
“We played basketball and tennis and other sports, and I think golf is a fantastic sport for girls,” he said. “They can still be a girl and still be competitive, and they can play the rest of their life.”
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