NEW CASTLE — During a long morning's journey into evening, Anderson's Morgan Nadaline and Pendleton Heights' Emily Tilton qualified for next weekend's IHSAA state golf tournament.
In the New Castle Regional at Westwood Golf Club on Saturday, Nadaline carded a 38-39-77 and Tilton was right behind with a 40-38-78 to each claim one of the coveted top-five spots awarded to the best players not on an advancing team.
The state will be played at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin. The first round will be played Friday morning and the second and final round will be played Saturday. All golfers who qualified will play both days.
The scorecard indicated that Westwood was created in 1917, and some of the competitors doubtless felt their regional round began on that date and ended Saturday.
Bob Windlan, the Anderson coach, reported that from first swing of the club to sinking the final putt, Nadaline's round last 6 hours, 44 minutes. A combination of the decision to play in foursomes, extremely difficult pin placements and the ruling that golfers be allowed to pick up the ball, clean it and place it while on the fairway all led to unbelievably long rounds.
"It was awful," said Nadaline of the length of the 18 holes. "I am not a patient person, and I did not handle it well at all. The pins were mostly as difficult as they could be."
Still, Nadaline, a senior heading for her third state tournament appearance, and Tilton, a junior heading for her second state showing, were able to keep their games together through the marathon experience.
"I started really strong, and then I had a couple of really interesting holes," said Tilton with a wry smile. "The fairways and rough were hard, and the greens were not holding at all. The greens were fast, and they were rolling fine."