By Jason Haddixâ€©For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — With the number of spectators following the No. 1 golfers from Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights exceeding 30, it was clear to see who the favorites were for the individual medal at the Madison County Girls High School Golf Tournament.
As the group strolled the fairways of The Edge Golf Club, Anderson’s No. 1 Morgan Nadaline chased and captured her fourth straight county title, despite a rough stretch to close out her front nine. Her low scores early provided her a cushion as she finished with a 7-over par 77.
“It means a lot,” Nadaline said. “It is really an accomplishment to do it four years in a row.”
Nadaline busted out of the gate firing a 2-under par through the first six holes. The wheels looked to have fallen off as the senior bogeyed seven and imploded on the par-3 eighth hole with a triple bogey. She finished her front nine 2-over par. “I started out great and then after I made a triple on eight, I just couldn’t get it together,” Nadaline said. “I just couldn’t get things going back to the way they were. It is hard and mentally draining.”
The course was not the only obstacle Nadaline had to overcome as her playing partners, Lapel’s Natalia Campbell and Pendleton Heights’ Emily Tilton, saw the door had opened for a chance to knock off the defending champion.
Nadaline, who is committed to play golf at Ball State, was unable to card any birdies on the back nine allowing Campbell to remain within reach. The Lapel sophomore fired birdies on 11 and 15, however her late surge was not enough to catch the leader as she finished two shots back.
“I felt that it was a good opportunity to go in and beat her,” Campbell said. “I was a little nervous at first but when she got the triple bogey it kind of boosted me up. I tried, (to catch Nadaline) but came up short.”
Tilton carded the low back nine score of 38 to finish in third place with a 10-over par 80.
The low four scores among the five-person teams count toward the team total score. It came down to the Pendleton Heights' No. 3 and Lapel's No. 4 golfers (the team's third low score) to determine the winner.
As the scores came in, Lapel held a 1-stroke lead over Pendleton, 169-170 with the team's top two golfers complete. It was the Arabians third and fourth low scoring golfers that dominated their playing partners from Lapel, 203-212.
“Normally each team has one or two good players that are going to score good and it is usually pretty close,” Pendleton coach Tom Harvey said. “Then you get to three, four and five and that is where it makes a difference on who is going to win the team deal.”
Pendleton’s No. 3 Delany Harvey’s 98 bested Lapel’s No. 4 Jensen Whitton’s 102 as the Arabians ran off with the team title with a 373, eight strokes better than the Bulldogs.
“I struggled a little in the beginning, but then I kept pushing through,” Delany Harvey said. “It gives me a lot of confidence to keep working. We still have a lot of matches left to keep winning.”
Rounding out the team scoring for Pendleton was the teams No. 5 golfer, Jessie Meyer, who shot a 105. Addison Farrer’s 111 was not low enough to factor.
“I was a little nervous, but after the first hole I got used to it,” Meyer said. “I want to get my score down to below a 100 by the end of the season. I am just glad to be a part of the team.”
The win for Pendleton, gave them three consecutive county team championships.
“It is big because it makes the younger girls to start playing,” Tom Harvey said. “It makes the school proud. I stepped into a good program last year and got some good players. (The golfers) talk about it all the time. They love winning the county.”