BATTLE GROUND — There was nothing but tension as the scores were getting posted at Saturday’s girls golf Regional at Battle Ground Golf Club. Southmont’s Addison Meadows didn’t have her best day as she fired a +5 77. After she ended her round it was a very long waiting game to see if the Mountie junior would qualify for her third straight IHSAA State Finals. But then all of a sudden, Meadows, Southmont coach Bill Whalen and everyone else in Meadows’ corner could breathe. Her 77 ended up being good enough for the third and final individual spot as Meadows is headed back to Prairie View for the state finals.
Not only did Meadows advance, but she did so by a single stroke, beating out Western’s Elizabeth Mercer’s 78.
“Today was an extremely stressful day,” Meadows said. “ I struggled on the first few holes and a two double bogey’s that didn’t help. I knew that after shooting a 40 on my first nine that I had to pull it together and I did. It’s not really about what sets you back during the round it’s about coming back on the other half of the round that makes you a good golfer”
Whalen has mentioned on countless occasions that golf is a game where every single stroke matters. Saturday was the ultimate test to that statement.
“I’m very proud of the way she came back after those first nine, because it was rough for her,” Whalen said. “Her short game inside 100 yards wasn’t good, but her last nine she played about as well as she could have. The best thing about her was that I never saw her drop her head. She just kept going even after a bad couple holes. That’s what it takes if you want to play in a state finals like she does.”
The Mounties as a team ended their season shooting a 420 overall. Kelsey Thompson shot a 112 to end her day. Hanna Long recorded a 115 with both Addison Kendricks and Parker Church shooting 116’s to go along with Meadows’ 77.
From the end of last season when Meadows tied for 28th overall at the State Finals and was named 1st team All-State, her goal has been to be in the top 10. That still stands as her ultimate goal and she and Whalen both know she has what it takes to accomplish it.
“I want to push myself and be in that top 10,” Meadows reiterated. “I didn’t have the greatest day and still shot in the upper 70’s. If I can do that over Prairie View then I’ll be set. It takes having two good rounds over there because that course does elevate a lot of scores because of how hard it is. I’ll have to do a better job of getting over my nerves a lot quicker because I haven’t gotten off the best starts over there. Coach (Whalen) always says that if you’re not nervous then you don’t care. I’ll try and get rid of those nerves before I tee off on Friday.”
Crawfordsville senior captain Carli Payne completed the final round of her golf career at the Regional with a 110. The Regional appearance put a bow on what’s been a fantastic career for Payne. She noted how it felt to be able to end her career on a high note, playing against some of the state’s best competition.
“Getting here just took a lot of hard work and it felt really good to able to just play,” Payne said. “Most girls see their seasons end at sectionals but I was able to end it here which makes things even more rewarding. Last week at the sectional when I saw the scores coming in I was getting anxious because I knew I had a chance to get out. I knew that I got out when our coaches were giving me hugs.”
Crawfordsville coach Tony Thomas was unable to be at the Regional, but that doesn’t change how proud he is of his senior captain. The relationship that Payne and Thomas have built over the last seven years going all the way back to when Payne began in middle school, is something that Payne will remember for a very long time.
“Coach Thomas has been the best coach I could’ve asked for,” she said. “He’s taught me 90% of everything that I know. I’m so thankful to have had him by my side for so long and he’s become my biggest mentor. I’m certainly going to miss him.”
Meadows will get her state finals appearance underway beginning on Friday morning at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. Live scoring of the two-day state finals can be tracked on-line at BlueGolf.com