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GREENSBURG — With only one threesome remaining Saturday at Greensburg Country Club, it looked like the Columbus East girls golf team might slip past Columbus North to win the sectional championship.
With the first four players’ scores for each team in the bank, East had taken an eight-stroke lead.
Oh, but that final player for North.
Junior Sydney Anderson shot a two-over par 72 to take individual medalist honors and pull North to a two-stroke victory over the Olympians for the sectional title.
“Oh my gosh, it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that Sydney can handle that pressure,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “We knew it was going to be close.”
It was close, but Anderson was terrific.
“I love the pressure,” said Anderson, who went three over on her first four holes and then played the final 14 holes at one under. “I shot 80 in an invitational two weeks ago, but I know that this is the time to get it together.”
Anderson missed a five-foot birdie put on her fifth hole, a par 3, and then birdied the next two holes to be on her way.
“After I went bogey, par, bogey, bogey to start the round, I was thinking, ‘I just did this, I can’t do it again,’” she said. “I told myself that it wasn’t going to be like this.”
Many of the golfers struggled on a day when the course was soft from the previous day’s rain.
“At the beginning of the round it was wet, and the last five holes were windy,” said North’s Morgan Deis, whose 88 was the Bull Dogs’ second lowest score.
East’s low score of 82 was posted by Caroline Smith, who played alongside Anderson, but it wasn’t the kind of round the Olympians’ No. 1 golfer would have liked.
“First I was thinking, ‘Drive, why are you going over there?’” Smith said. “Then I was thinking, ‘Putt, why are you not going in?’
“I was just getting mad at myself. I expected quite a bit more. I should be peaking right now.”
Anderson didn’t like seeing her friend struggle, but after all, it was a rivalry match, since North and East were the class of the sectional. Both advance to the regional tournament on Saturday at Westwood Golf Course in New Castle.
“She wasn’t playing her best, and she had a couple of bad breaks,” Anderson said of Smith. “We’re pretty good friends, but we’re also rival schools.”
Caroline Smith’s sister, Rebecca, carved out an 84. The East sophomore played in the same group with North’s No. 2 golfer, Samantha McQueen, who was off her game with a 91.
“I made a lot of little mistakes,” Rebecca Smith said. “It would have been really nice to beat Columbus North.”
East had a one-stroke lead after its Nos. 3-4-5 golfers posted their scores (the high score is thrown out). Abby Frazier and Maggie Frazier both posted 90s for East while Kaitlyn King shot 97.
Maggie Frazier said the wet conditions really shortened the length of drives because the players weren’t getting any roll. That made it difficult for the golfers to get to greens in regulation.
Tournament time also brings another element.
“I was thinking, ‘I need to do well for the team,’” Maggie Frazier said.
North’s Holly Anderson shot 93, while Lauren Backmeyer had a 95.
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