Decker, a senior, carded a 1-over 72 and took top honors in the Corydon Golf Sectional Saturday evening at Old Capital Golf Course.
“I knew I was going to shoot my personal best unless something huge happened,” Decker said.
Decker said she’s thrilled to win her first sectional as a senior. “It’s really, really cool because I’ve worked so hard this summer,” she said. “I don’t even have words for it.”
Floyd Central, meanwhile, won its fourth straight sectional with a 353. Decker said she tried to treat the sectional as just a regular golf tournament.
“I just took one shot at a time,” she said. “If you just treat it as a normal tournament, it ends up better. I just tried to keep myself calm and keep myself composed. That was the major difference today.”
Although she normally doesn’t do it, Decker kept track of her hole-by-hole scoring during her solid round.
“Today was actually the first time in a long time I actually knew what I was shooting,” Decker said. “Usually, I don’t keep score. I think it helped. I think it was allowing me to keep my head in the game and keep me focused on every shot.
“This year, I’ve learned — over the summer — to be more competitive, not care what other girls are doing and just focus on my game,” she said. “It has helped a lot.”
Two weeks ago, Decker knew she was headed in right direction after posting a 76 in Bloomington at Cascade Golf Course. Decker is being recruiting by Charlotte and several NCAA Division II programs.
Now Decker and her Floyd Central teammates will tackle the Country Oaks Golf Course in Washington Saturday.
“I love the course we’re playing for the regionals,” she said. “It really fits my game. The fairways are in great condition. I’m really excited to play it.”
North Harrison’s Hallie Hinton came in second with a 76, just four strokes behind the medalist. Hinton, who earned a spot in last year’s regional as an individual, helped the Lady Cats advance as a team.
Senior Sydney LaDuke, Decker’s teammate who won the sectional last year, finished with a 79, seven strokes off the pace.
Borden senior Makenzie Smith, who shot a solid 82, will return to the regional as the top individual outside of the top three qualifying teams and fourth overall. A year ago, she advanced to the regional with an 80 in the sectional tournament.
Second-place North Harrison (368) and New Albany (395) will join the Highlanders at the regional. In a tight finish, New Albany advanced to the regional by just one stroke over rival Providence.
“I tell these girls all the time that every stroke counts,” said New Albany coach Kelly Hook. “I knew it was going to be close. I didn’t know it was going to be that close. . . Now, it’s all a new beginning for us (at the regional).”
Corydon Girls Sectional Golf
At Old Capital Golf Course
Top 3 teams and top 3 additional individuals advance to Washington Regional on Sept. 24 at Country Oaks Country Golf Club
Team results: 1. x-Floyd Central 353, 2. x-North Harrison 368, 3. x-New Albany 395, 4. Providence 396, 5. Corydon 424, 6 South Central 454, 7. Jeffersonville 521, 8. Christian Academy of Indiana 547.
Top individuals: 1. Lauren Decker (FC) 72, 2. Hallie Hinton (NH) 76, 3. Sydney LaDuke (FC) 79.4. x-Makenzie Smith (Borden) 82, 5. Cassidy Thompson (NH) 83, 6. x-Liv Schmidt (SCreek) 83, 7. x-Alexa Wilson (Prov) 85, 8. Ashton Crutcher (SCreek) 86, 9. Stevie Roth (NA) 92. 10. Macey Capelle (Corydon) 94. 11. Elizabeth Mayberry (Prov) 96, 10. Katie Alexander (NH) 96, 10. Kaylan Hook (NA) 96.
x-advances to Washington Regional