FRANKLIN — Brutal weather conditions affected play at the girls’ state finals at the Legends of Indiana in Franklin on Friday. The Lady Hatchets posted a 389 which pushed them out of the top nine and did not allow them to advance to the second round played. Overall, they ended the day in 19th in the 21-team field.
The Lady Hatchets faced some of the most serious weather conditions they have seen all year.
Torrential rains left the course soggy with standing water that delayed the earliest tee times for 90 minutes. What followed the rain, were winds that gusted to 35 miles per hour throughout the day.
“It was some of the toughest conditions I’ve ever seen in girls golf,” said WHS coach Steve Kovaleski.
“The wind was just fierce and balls were oscillating on the putting greens. It really was more a test of intestinal fortitude just to finish the round. There really was just no way to make up shots today. I would say the condition cost us at least 10 to 15 shots alone. It is just too bad it had to happen the day of state.”
Senior Claudia Padgett, who has either played in or attended several state tourneys, said she has never seen or played in conditions like todays.
“I have never played in anything that before,” she said.
The low score of the day for Washington was junior Larren McDonald who shot 95. McDonald also had the low score for WHS last year and led with five pars. She was followed by sophomore Blythe Wildridge with a 96 and sophomore Mikala Barber with a 97. Claudia Padgett posted a 101 to finishing out the team scoring. Junior Malina Padgett shot a 113, but her score did not register in the team total.
The early conditions took their toll, as the Hatchets as only sophomore Wildridge was able to break 50 on the first nine (the Lady Hatchets all teed off on the back nine). Wildridge posted a 44 on the front side, but a 52 on the back.
McDonald opened with a 50, but rebounded with a 45 on the back.
Barber shot 51 on the tough back side, but also posted a 46 on the front, including Washington’s only birdie of the day at the 435-yard par 5.
Much of the Hatchets problems stemmed from the first hole (No. 10), where they shot a combined +16. However, the team seemed to settle down, as evident by 15 pars and one birdie the rest of the way.
Although they did not advance to second day, WHS did set a school record for team wins with 115, along with a sectional championship, second in the conference and provided the conference and sectional medalist.
“I’m temendously proud of this team and all we accomplished this year,” added Kovaleski.
Claudia Padgett will be the only graduating senior and was part of over 100 wins in each of her last three years. She was also a nominee for the mental attitude award.
“Claudia is more than just a good golfer, but also a great person. I have just loved having her on my team for the last four years.
“She will go far in what ever she chooses to do,” said Kovaleski.
Padgett was disappointed with her play in her final high school match, but said overall it has been a great four years.
“It was disappointing, but there is nothing that I would change. I will have great memories of playing these four years,” said Padgett.
Ashley Keys of Carroll, Megan Portee of Noblesville and Anna Wilcoxson of St. Joe’s led the field at +4. Last year’s course record holder, Trisha Witherby of Richmond showed just how difficult the conditions were, shooting an 80, 14 strokes higher than her record-setting 66 last year.
The top team was Martinsville with a 338 and Noblesville with a 339. Washington finished ahead of Evansville Memorial, who was second at regional, while regional winner North was 11th and also did not make the cut.
Play contines today for the top nine teams and the low nine individuals who did not advance with a team.