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Worthington survives sectional test

September 19, 2011
North Central Conference

KOKOMO — It was an interesting day for area golfers at the sectional at Chippendale Golf Club Saturday.

For Logansport standout Amy Worthington, it was even more of a marathon day than it was for the other golfers. After playing a five-plus hour 18-hole round, two hours later she found herself in a playoff for what mattered little other than what tee time she will have at next week’s regional at Battle Ground Golf Club.

Worthington did advance with an 86, a score much higher than what she had hoped to shoot going in. But it was a difficult day for all the golfers, as an 82 was the low round. The factors for the high scores might have been the slow play, tight fairways, difficult pin placements and, of course, nerves.

Lewis Cass just missed advancing as a team. The Kings shot a 394 to finish fourth, just three strokes behind Peru which took the final qualifying spot. Northwestern won the sectional title with a 344, followed by No. 7 Western (353).

“It was a great day, but it was also bittersweet because we were that close as a team,” Cass coach Charlie Jones said.

Cass senior Amber Truax shot a 88, which tied for the third-best score on a non-advancing team. But in the playoff for the final regional spot, her drive found the trees on hole No. 1 that led to a double bogey that eliminated her. Eastern’s Kaylee Kingseed eventually won the playoff in what started as a three-person playoff.

“It’s a tough loss for a senior to be that close,” Jones said.

Cass senior Haley Clark shot a 90, missing a spot in the playoff by just two strokes.

For Worthington it might have been her putter that let her down the most. She finished with five three-putts on the day and really didn’t make a putt beyond a tap-in until the 18th hole, when she ran home a 25-footer for birdie. And it was a good thing, because another three-putt would have meant she would have been playing in a playoff for her tournament life.

“I couldn’t get any putts to fall. I just didn’t get any breaks,” Worthington said. “It was just an all-around tough day for me.”

Worthington twice hit the ball out of bounds into lateral hazards. Both she said were on slight mis.

“I hit one right that bounced out of bounds and had another one that I pulled a little bit that bounced out of bounds,” she said. “All my drives were good. My drives were perfect, I just couldn’t get my irons to do what I wanted them to do.”

Worthington said she hit the ball better on the back nine when she rebounded with a 41 after shooting 45 on the front.

“That’s what I’ve been working on is keeping my mental strength. I didn’t really have it on the front after that triple I had. I kept trying to fight, and it’s hard to keep fighting after doing so horrible,” she said.

Worthington played a sudden-death playoff with Tipton’s Lela Crawford for the first place finish for a golfer on a non-advancing team. Worthington missed her putt for birdie on the first hole, while Crawford made hers.

In essence, if you turned Worthington’s five three-putts into two-putts, she would have medaled with an 81. If you also take away the two out of bounds shots, she would have shot 79. She shot a 77 at Chippendale during an early-season tournament this year.

But Logan coach Bob Bannon had a different way of looking at Worthington’s round.

“It’s like I told her, I said, ‘You lucked out because you played bad and you got away with it. It won’t happen next week,’” he said.

The Berries finished sixth as a team with a 414. Kait Wickersham shot a 98 to break 100 for the second straight round. But overall Bannon wasn’t particularly pleased with his squad’s performance.

“Out of the 10 nine-hole individual rounds, maybe two or three at the most out of the 10 were what we play like,” he said. “The other seven were poor execution, poor judgment, bad nerves and bad golf.

“We took a step back. A 414 at this time of year ... we ought to be breaking 400 consistently. We reverted to our old habits — big numbers and bad golf.”

Western’s Allison Lindley and Courtnee Cossell and Northwestern’s Jillian Hungate each shot an 82 to tie for the best round of the day. Lindley won a playoff for medalist honors.

Pioneer shot a 434 to place seventh. Mati DeWitt led the Panthers with a 98. Caston shot a 535 to place 12th.

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