Charleston captured its eighth straight IHSA Class 1A Regional girls golf title Wednesday at Charleston Country Club by a comfortable margin, even if the Trojans were not always at ease.
The Trojans needed 377 strokes to go around the 5,638-yard red tees at Charleston Country Club, 15 fewer than runner-up Paris. Both teams advance to next Thursday’s sectional at The Rail Golf Course in Springfield.
Standing by the No. 14. tee earlier in the day, Trojans coach Todd Keating could tell that his players were scuffling. So parked his golf cart and hovered around the tee box, reminding players they just needed to do well going forward. The past few holes are in the past.
“You may think that you’re struggling,” he told them, “but you’re doing exactly what I need you to do.”
The Trojans held a double-digit lead entering the final five holes even though their scores were slightly higher than they had been the previous week in winning the Apollo Conference tourney.
“Sometimes, players need to be talked back into the game,” Keating said. “They think they’re not doing well. They think that everybody’s doing better.”
So he chatted with Madeline Sanders, coming off a short putt for a birdie on the 384-yard par-5 No. 12 and a bogey on the next hole. Afterward, the sophomore posted two pars down the stretch – on the par 4 No. 15 and the par-3 No. 17.
And he chatted with Taryn Pearson, who had posted a triple-bogey two holes earlier. The junior responded by playing strong across the final holes.
As did Rileigh Babbs, who carded a par one hole later, on No. 15.
Hannah Harpster, at the time within one stroke of the individual title, seemed a bit frustrated so she sat in the cart with Keating for several minutes.
After hitting her drive into a strand of trees on the right side of the fairway on No. 14, the senior smartly chipped out of the woods, lobbed a shot from about 35 yards out to within eight feet of the hole and two-putted for bogey. Harpster then played 1-under through the ensuing three holes, including a birdie on the 437-yard par-5 No. 16.
She posted an 81 to finish four strokes behind Monticello’s Ashley Long for third overall. Paris’s Kaitlyn Coombes took second at 79.
“Hannah is a maintenance-free golfer,” Keating said. “Hannah had just had a couple holes where she was frustrated that she had missed a few birdie putts.”
Sanders posted a 95 to take fifth overall and Babbs’ 100 tied for seventh. Pearson and Stacey Zerbst were tied one place and one shot back.
“They performed as I had expected,” Keating said. “As long as we get four solid scores, we’ll do well.”
Statistics from the IHSA Golf App powered by iWanamaker were used in this report.
|8||Bethany (Okaw Valley)||468|
|12||Moweaqua (Central A & M)||532|
|Hannah Harpster (Sr.)||81|
|Madeline Sanders (So.)||95|
|Rileigh Babbs (Jr.)||100|
|Stacey Zerbst (Jr.)||101|
|Taryn Pearson (Jr.)||101|
|Tesa Brown (Jr.)||105|