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FRANKLIN — During a moment of reflection Saturday on the Legends Golf Club, suffering Columbus North junior Sydney Anderson asked herself an important question.
“Why did I choose golf to build my life around,” she said after shooting a painful 81 that took her out of contention in the Indiana Girls Golf State Tournament.
Her father, Chris, who walked every hole alongside her, had the answer.
“She knows she is one of the elite golfers,” he said as he watched her finish on the 18th green. “She knows she can play at anytime with these girls.”
Anderson proved that much on Friday, when she shot even-par 72 to go into Saturday’s final round with a shot to win it all.
After eight holes Saturday, she was placed perfectly at 1-over to make a run at the title. But then she hit her driver into a grass bunker on No. 9 and chunked a 9-iron into the water out of a mushy lie.
Her momentum went kerplunk, and she hacked her way around the hole to an 8. Her championship dreams were over.
“I had played so well,” she said. “And I thought I would get some birdies on the back.
“But it was a pathetic back nine.”
Anderson went 4-over on the back nine to finish at 9-over for the tournament in a tie for 17th place. She finished tied for 11th a year ago.
“Last year I wasn’t as good as my scores were,” she said. “Now I’ve gotten good enough to shoot par, like I did Friday. I should be doing that all the time.”
If not for the trouble on No. 9, Anderson might well have shot even par again. However, North coach Scott Seavers said the disappointment of No. 9 was probably hard to shake off.
“She had trouble getting into a rhythm on the back,” Seavers said. “But she came into the tournament real optimistic. Truthfully, overall, she played really well. She still belongs as one of the best girl golfers in the state of Indiana.
“I was proud of her.”
Anderson knows a lot of people are proud of her; that’s what makes Saturday’s sub-par round hard to take.
“This one is special,” she said of the state tournament. “It’s important to me, and it was something I wanted to share with my team. I was playing for North, and I was disappointed I couldn’t show more.
“I tried to hold it together on the back, but I guess I got mixed up in my head.”
Fortunately, Anderson will have another shot at the state tournament when she is a senior.
“That’s a very nice feeling,” she said. “If I didn’t have another year, I would feel 20 times worse.”
Valparaiso’s Harley Dubsky won the tournament at even par for the 36 holes. Seymour’s Paxton DeHaven shot 78-76 to tie for 19th at 10-over. DeHaven had a 9 on No. 15 on Saturday and shot 1-under for all the other holes.
Carmel ran away with the team title at 28-over par. Penn was second at 55-over.
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