There’s little drama at Saturday’s girls golf sectional at the Country Club of Old Vincennes.
At the same time, it should be a pressure-packed event.
The lack of drama may come in the eventual winner. Both Washington coach Morris Petty and North Daviess coach Brett Melton agree Vincennes Rivet are expected to fill that role.
But that’s where the suspense begins, with both coaches looking at four or five teams trying to fit into two slots for tickets to the regional the following Saturday at Eagle Valley in Evansville.
“ I think you would have to say that Rivet is the top pick unless something miraculous happens,” Petty said. “I would think that Princeton, Gibson Southern, ourselves and Vincennes Lincoln are playing for the next two spots. I think we have a real good shot.”
Melton has similar thoughts, but includes his youthful Cougars as a contender.
North Daviess is in its second year of fielding a full team.
“The top three spots are going to be hotly contested,” Melton said. “Rivet is probably going to win. I think everyone realizes that ,unless something unusual happens. There are probably six or seven teams that are capable of advancing. Only three get to go (to the regional). I think our girls are capable.”
Petty has noted his team’s struggles with chipping and putting has cost strokes this season. The Hatchets have played at the Vincennes course several times to prepare.
“We’ll go over Friday (today) and have a practice round,” Petty said. “I’m not certain how many holes we will actually play. I think we may spend more time chipping and putting around some of the more difficult greens. The girls need to figure out the speed of the greens, so we may do a lot of that.”
Petty said he has been happy with the team’s ball striking. He also likes having his team start on the back nine with North Daviess and Linton.
Starting on the back nine may give the team a better chance to become settled at the start.
“There are several holes on the front nine at the course that you can get into trouble early,” Petty said. “There are probably some easier holes on the front nine, but you have to go through several difficult ones to get there. I think we can get some confidence by starting on the back nine. It’s really a pretty good thing for us.”
After a short par three, the 11th and 12th holes both have out of bounds on the right, but room to the left.
“It may give them some confidence starting there,” Petty said. “We can’t hit the ball off the course, and we must make sure we aim away from trouble. If we can keep the penalties to a minimum, and chip and putt, we have a good chance to advance.”
North Daviess won the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference golf title last season with senior Darrah Holder leading the way. But Holder graduated and now is playing at Marian in Indianapolis.
The Cougars returned this season with Holder gone, and played to a third-place finish in the SWIAC at Linton Tuesday.
“We have a very young team, and sometimes they have a tendency to lose focus a bit,” Melton said. “There’s a lot of stuff that they have to learn yet. It’s going to take some experience, but they still need to realize that a shot here or there can make a difference.”
Melton believes hosting the event at the Vincennes facility will be a new test of all of the teams — Sullivan, South Knox, Pike Central, North Central and North Knox are also competing — after the tournament was moved from its most recent location at the Bicknell Country Club.
“I think it will be interesting, having the sectional at Vincennes,” Melton said. “Everybody pretty well had a good idea of what the scores needed to be to get out of sectional with the tournament being at Bicknell for many years. Now, it’s really more of an unknown. It’s really going to be new for everybody.”
The Cougars will have to turn in one of their better performances to be in the top three, but the coach believes it can happen.
“I think if our girls put it all together we can compete,” Melton said. “Golf is a sport where you have to forget a bad shot an move on to make a better one. If they don’t allow the small things to get to them, I think we are capable.
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