EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Ken Wempe noticed something during a recent practice.
The North High School girls’ golf team was busy on the range at Tee Time Golf Complex. Wempe had his eyes on senior Abby Whittington. He must have watched her swing for 40 minutes.
When he got home, he said to his wife that Whittington had “the perfect swing tonight.” Perhaps, it was a sign. Not just for his senior, but all of his Huskies.
Just when it seemed it couldn’t surprise folks anymore, North raised the bar once again. The Huskies, ranked No. 1 in Indiana, set a state record for a score in the sectional with a 281 at Fendrich Golf Course on Saturday.
It bests the 284 set by Zionsville at West Chase Golf Club in 2017. North extends its sectional championship streak to eight.
“I thought since we were familiar with (Fendrich), we had a shot at shooting a low round,” said Wempe. “I didn’t expect anything such as that. We had a really nice practice and had two nine-hole matches this week. After that, I thought these girls are really primed.”
Whittington set the standard for the Huskies with a 2-under par 68. She bested Memorial’s Mallory Russell in a one-hole playoff with a birdie to earn sectional medalist honors.
The senior, who has several Division I opportunities, was on fire early. Whittington birdied her first four holes before her putter disappeared. Three bogeys going out left her at 1-under at the turn, still tied for the individual lead.
“I had a lot of adrenaline coming in because this is my last postseason,” said Whittington. “I was just really excited to come out with the team and see what we could do. We obviously broke a record. I kept pushing.”
In the past, the slide down the leaderboard might have continued. Whittington is the type of player who wants to succeed in everything she does. But instead of fretting, the senior showed how far she’s come with a birdie and eight pars on the back nine.
The sectional championship happens to be her first individual postseason title in her career. She missed the fairway in the playoff but hit a wedge to inside 10 feet.