Hinton off to 2nd regional
Off the tee, Hallie Hinton was dueling with Borden’s Makenzie Smith in distance on most holes.
Playing in the same group, Hinton’s driver didn’t always have the accuracy she wanted, but another club ‘ the putter ‘ in her bag did.
At the Corydon Central Girls’ Golf Sectional on Saturday afternoon, Hinton knocked in several putts, leading to a 9-over par 80. The score earned the sophomore her second appearance at the regional meet.
‘My driver wasn’t as great as it usually is, so I had to make a lot of recover shots,’ Hinton said of her round. ‘On the bright side, my putting was a lot better than it usually is.’
Playing on its home course, Old Capital Golf Club, Corydon Central was one spot away from the top three qualifying team slots for regional. The Lady Panthers closed with a season-best 393 to take fourth. North Harrison (419) was fifth.
The sectional champion honors went to Floyd Central; the team fired a 310 on the par-71 course (hole No. 10 was shortened to a par-3). Providence (330) was 20 strokes back, while Silver Creek (335) was third.
Corydon Central’s Cortlin Engleman was seeking to make her third appearance at the regional level, her first since her sophomore season. She finished the 18-hole event with a score of 90, putting her in a tie for the final individual qualifying spot without a team (three advance).
Locked in a playoff starting on No. 18, Engleman and her opponent, Kaylan Hook, had their struggles with the first hole. Engleman found the front-side water hazard, while Hook’s second shot left her without a play near short pines. Both eventually holed out with double bogeys.
Turning to No. 1, both had tee shots reach the fairway. The second shot for Engleman, however, found the left rough with a tree blocking a clear view of the pin. Hook went on to win the hole and the advancing spot with a bogey.
‘It was a good ending for the year she had,’ Corydon Central coach Chase Best said of Engleman. ‘The start of the year, she didn’t play too well. She refocused and played good golf the last two or three weeks. She never gave up. I felt she didn’t know how to give up.’
Hinton, meanwhile, is poised to get back to regional. Her sectional round at Old Cap started slow. Beginning on the back nine, Hinton played the first three holes 4-over par.
Then she hit a groove.
Seven of the next nine holes saw Hinton card pars. Making the turn, Hinton played the par-3s on the front nine flawlessly. A long putt on No. 2 gave her a birdie. On No. 7, her iron off the tee landed on the green and rolled a few feet from the cup. She would tap in for birdie.
‘I thought I was going to be long, but my dad tells me every time we play here to keep the ball to the right of the green and it’ll kick down low,’ Hinton said. ‘He was right.’
For the day, Hinton played both sides with 40s.
‘My goal for the whole day was no three putts,’ Hinton said. ‘I only three-putted once today, so that saved me a lot of strokes.’
Smith also shot an 80 for Borden as the program’s lone golfer. Hinton said the two had played before.
The overall medalist was Floyd Central’s Sydney LaDuke, who had two birdies during her round of 2-over par 73 golf.
Last year, Hinton was in a similar position to Engleman, needing a playoff to advance. This time around, Hinton was 11 strokes better than her freshman score.
Having played at the girls’ golf regional, hosted at Country Oaks Golf Club in Washington, Hinton knows what to expect.
‘The course itself is not very long on some holes, which gives me an advantage,’ she said. ‘There are some crazy holes, so I have to know where to hit the ball to put myself in good positions.’
In her lone appearance, Hinton shot a 92 last year at regional.
For Corydon Central, Engleman paved the way with a 90, including nine pars. Teammate Sidney Capelle started well with a 44 on her first nine but struggles on the other side left her with a 95. She closed with five pars.
Abby Buechele had her best 18-hole round as a Lady Panther, shooting a 96. Her round featured seven pars, including a run of five of seven holes from No. 12 through No. 1.
Also for Corydon Central, Hanna Seacat shot a 112 while Bailey Combs had a 119.
‘The team had a personal best today,’ Best said. ‘Everybody improved. Two I am really proud of were Abby and Hanna. It was personal best for them and the first time Abby broke 100. This last week of practice, after the showing at conference, they wanted to make a run. It showed in our score.’
Best said he is going to encourage his younger golfers to hit the course during the summer to prepare for the short fall season.
‘We have a good group of freshmen returning so a good base to build from,’ Best said. ‘I think we have the potential in the next few years to get in those top three spots.’
South Central brought a trio of golfers to regional to compete as individuals. Playing the No. 1 slot, Brooklyn Woertz shot a 112. Teammate Grace Riley had a tournament-best 112. She had two pars. Destiny Avis shot a 122.
The Washington Regional will take place Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
The top three teams and top five low individuals not on an advancing team will qualify for the state finals. Admission to regional is free.
Team scores (top 3 advance to regional): 1. Floyd Central 310, 2. Providence 330, 3. Silver Creek 335, 4. Corydon Central 393, 5. North Harrison 419, 6. New Albany 440, 7. Jeffersonville 553. (No team scores ‘ Borden, South Central).
Individual scores: 1. Sydney LaDuke (FC) 73, 2. Megan Striegel (FC) 76, 3. Lauren Decker (FC) 78, 4t. Kaela Roberts (SiCr) 80, 4t. Mary Ann Fitzpatrick (P) 80, 4t. Hallie Hinton (NH) 80, 4t. Makenzie Smith (B) 80.
Individuals advancing without a team: 1. Hallie Hinton (NH) 80, 2. Makenzie Smith (B) 80, 3. Kaylan Hook (NA) 90*.
*won 2-hole playoff