Columbus North's Sydney Anderson chips onto the 15th green during her round of 73 on Monday at the Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington. She finished second in the Bloomington North Sectional. PHOTO BY JAY HEATER
Columbus East's Erika Smith, right, tees off on the 11th hole during the Bloomington North Regional on Monday at the Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington. Smith shot 87 as the Olympians finished second as a team. PHOTO BY JAY HEATER
After the ball left Sydney Anderson’s putter on the 18th green Monday, it was apparent that her even-par round, and the Bloomington North Sectional individual title, had just slipped away an inch to the right.
Anderson, a Columbus North High School sophomore, had lost a little acceleration in her stroke — a push, in golfing terms. Even so, she was beaming as she walked forward and tapped the ball into the hole for a 73.
“That’s my best score ever,” she said.
At a glance
Bloomington North Girls Golf Sectional
Top four individual finishers
1. Emma Fisher, Bloomington South, 72
2. Sydney Anderson, Columbus North, 73
3. Cherise Otter, Bloomington South, 74
4. Caroline Smith, Columbus East, 75
Top three team finishers
1. Bloomington South 312
2. Columbus East 327
3. Columbus North 337
All season, Bull Dogs head coach Scott Seavers said that Anderson has enormous potential. She served notice Monday that she will be one of the state’s top high school golfers over the next two-plus years.
In the group behind her, Bloomington South’s No. 2 golfer, Emma Fisher, was finishing off a 72 for the championship. Anderson might have thought she had won the title because Bloomington South’s No. 1 golfer, Cherise Otter, shot a 74 in her group.
Nonetheless, Anderson has a head of steam going into the Evansville Memorial Regional on Saturday. Columbus North qualified as a team, too, with a third-place finish and an overall score of 337. The top three teams advanced.
“I’m happy, but I did give some strokes back,” said Anderson, who drove the ball beautifully all day.
Anderson hit a high note in a season that has been somewhat of a roller-coaster in terms of consistency.
“I definitely played better today,” she said. “This is very exciting.”
Seavers has said all year that he expected Anderson to have some low rounds this season. So why Monday?
“I’m a lot better under pressure,” Anderson said. “I like the feeling.”
Also rising under pressure was Columbus East junior Caroline Smith, who shot her best score this year with a 75, good for fourth place. That was despite a pair of double bogeys on Nos. 1 and No. 3 to start the round.
“I can’t chip apparently,” Smith said with a laugh. “I had three chips on No. 1 (a par-5) and two chips on No. 3 (a par-4). Maybe I am kind of bitter.”
Smith’s round included hitting a ball out of bounds on No. 6, then scrambling to make a bogey 5 on the par-4 hole. It was a huge comeback that seemed to give her some momentum for the rest of the round.
Columbus East had several fine outings Monday as it took second with a score of 327. Bloomington South won the title of the nine-team tournament at 312. Amanda Hashimoto shot 82 for East, Rebecca Smith carded an 83, and Abby Frazier had a 92.
“She always has had the talent,” East coach Troy Buntin said of Smith. “It’s in there. But she put it all together today.”
Well, almost all of it.
“My putts definitely didn’t drop,” she said.
While Smith was able to navigate a path around her difficulties, some of the top local golfers struggled. East’s Erika Smith and North’s Emily Morris both shot 87.
Both struggled on the par-5 opening hole, which seemed to set the tone for them all day.
Erika Smith hit her tee shot well, but it ended up in a creek.
“It was a good shot and a bad bounce,” Erika Smith said. “I tried to shake it off, but it was upsetting.”
Things didn’t get much better from there.
“It was just terrible,” she said.
Other scores for North included an 87 for Samantha McQueen, a 90 for Lauren Backmeyer and a 94 for Morgan Deis.
Brown County’s top finisher was Sharon Walters with 107.
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