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Dooley: state final a ‘learning experience’

Dooley: state final a ‘learning experience’
Dooley: state final a ‘learning experience’
North Harrison freshman Allison Dooley became the first female golfer in the history of Harrison County to compete in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state final on Friday at Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin. Above, it's dual Dooleys as North's Dooley, left, and Jessica Dooley of Concord stroll up the sixth fairway. Below, during a brief delay, Dooley shares a laugh with North Harrison first-year coach Joan Martin. (Photos by Alan Stewart)

There were many opportunities for North Harrison freshman Allison Dooley to pack up her clubs and call it a day during Friday’s opening round of the Indiana High School Athletic Association state golf final at The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin.
The stoic youngster with a swing that’s as smooth as silk had five bogeys on the front side and couldn’t get off the number five on the back (she marked a five on seven of the nine holes). Despite a few wayward tee shots, knocking one ball into the water, missing putts by a whisker, and painfully slow play on the back nine, Dooley kept her composure throughout the round.
After firing a 14-over par 86, she was refreshingly realistic about the day.
‘This was just about me coming up here and seeing what I need to do to get better and what I need to shoot to make it (to the second round) when I’m a senior,’ Dooley said. ‘(Today is) a disappointment for me because I know I can do better. I know that I have to probably shoot close to a 77 to make it through, and now I know what this course is like and everything. Today was a learning experience.’
Dooley, who said she was so nervous at the start of play that she was about to be sick, showed as much by starting with back-to-back bogeys.
‘When I was on the driving range yesterday, everything was going really, really right, and I was nervous about that because there are a lot of hazards to the right on this course,’ Dooley said.
The freshman proved her mettle by playing the next six holes at one over par.
She had birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 9, bogeys on 4 and 6, and a birdie on the 301-yard par-four fifth.
A 10-minute wait on the box at No. 10 gave Dooley plenty of time to think about the previous day’s practice round, when she put a couple of tee shots into the water.
She lined up with a slight aim to the left and placed her ball safely on the lush grass, just off the fairway.
‘I was holding my breath on that shot. I just wanted it to be left, and it was,’ Dooley said.
Unfortunately, her luck didn’t hold up. She sent her third shot into a watery grave. Dooley wound up with a seven on the par-5 hole.
‘I just came up a lot on that shot,’ she said.
Another 15-minute delay at No. 11 awaited the foursome, which included Concord’s Jessica Dooley (no relation), Allison Tyler of Ben Davis, and Amy Rocco of Yorktown.
‘I like to play fast,’ North’s Dooley admitted. ‘My coach knows I like to play fast and get done, and having to sit around kind of hurt me I think. The front side wasn’t too bad, but it seemed like we were waiting on every shot on the back side. I don’t like it to be that slow because then I started thinking about shots and my score. When I started thinking about my score, it hurt.’
Dooley carded 5s on the next five holes, which bumped her score from 6- to 12-over for the round. She then bogeyed out the rest of the way to finish with an 86, four shots better than her goal of 90.
‘I was happy just to make regional,’ Dooley said. ‘I’m not happy with how I played. I hope I can do this again next year.’
The Lady Cat believes working on her long and short iron shots will help in making a return trip.
‘She’s got such a smooth swing, and she’s mentally in the game,’ North coach Joan Martin said. ‘She’s an exceptional player and I think she’ll be back.’
Dooley became the first girls player from Harrison County to ever advance to the state final, which was played under bright blue skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.
She shot an 87 to advance from the Seymour Sectional and an 80 at the Jasper Regional to earn her ticket to the state final, which was played on the 5,244-yard course.
Angela Gauck of North Decatur repeated as individual champion with a two-day total of 143 (-2). The leading freshman was Anne Ormson of Penn, who went +7 through her 36 holes.