Golf is a team sport, and that is never more important than during the IHSAA state tournament. But No. 1 Westfield can have several players with off days thanks to the state’s No. 1 girls golfer in Cailyn Henderson. She played like it Saturday, shooting a regional-best 64.
Westfield finished with a score of 297 to finish first overall in the Roncalli regional at Smock Golf Course.
“We look at it as a team accomplishment,” Westfield coach Trevor Neu said. “Today she picked up a couple other kids who didn’t really have their best days, and they know that. There will be days they pick her up, today was her day to pick them up.”
Westfield’s Margaret Wentz had the second-best score on the team (and the regional) with a 73. Jocelyn Bruch shot a 78. Andrienne Montalone shot an 84.
“Our team is very close,” Henderson said. “We don’t put pressure on each other. My mindset is to play my best, don’t worry about the little errors. I just go out with a good mindset and keep it throughout the whole round.”
Last week, Henderson had the top score at the sectional with a 70, but she said her putting was “terrible.” She cleaned up her short game Saturday, not bogeying a single hole.
“Today she had everything going,” Neu said. “Her driver was working really well for her. Her putter was tremendous. She was sinking long putts and hitting 6-foot, 8-foot, 10-foot par putts at times. Everything clicked for her.”
No. 3 Carmel also advanced to state with a team score of 315. Angie Kavanaugh shot a 76 and Rani Hecht and Erin Evans finished close behind with a 78 and 79, respectively.
“We just told the girls to stay relaxed and play their game and we’d see what happened at the end of the day,” Carmel coach Kelly Kluesner said. “Any time we have three in the 70s, we’re definitely happy. We stayed away from the big numbers.”
No. 5 Zionsville was the third and final team to advance out of the regional. The Eagles shot a team score of 326. Avery VonDielingen was the team low score for the third consecutive week, shooting a 79.
“It’s a matter of hard work throughout the entire season,” Zionsville coach Jeff Anderson said of the sophomore. “She’s a really smart golfer. The game is starting to click for her right now. She has a good feel for her abilities and she’s putting everything together at the right time.”
Brownsburg’s Abby Cody and Plainfield’s Kayla Benge (77), Ben Davis’ Daniell Fishburn (79), Plainfield’s Tory Treash and Terre Haute South’s Alexandria Maris (81) advanced as individuals to next week’s state finals at Carmel’s Prairie View Golf Club.