8/10/2014 10:02:00 PM Westfield runner-up at State Preview
The Times photos by Mark Morrow
This young Westfield team, with three freshmen, is turning some heads already.
By Mark Morrow Hamilton County Sports Daily
Trevor Neu is in his fourth season coaching Westfield High School girls' golf.
Putting together a solid team has been a process in the making.
He may have finally found the missing links this season.
Most people by now surely know that Coach Neu has three very good freshmen. Make that three phenomenal freshmen.
They didn't just show up at the team call-out meeting unannounced, either. Neu said he knew all along what he had coming, ready to don the Lady Shamrocks' green and gold.
Caily Henderson....Margaret Wentz....Adrienne Montalone. They are certainly impressive players to keep an eye on.
"Yes, we're excited the time has finally arrived,' Neu said. "Our freshmen played together through junior high. We're still learning, but they're getting better, and we have a lot to look forward to. They'll continue to get better and better.'
So far, they've been terrific.
Westfield won its first invitational, posting an impressive win at Plainfield. The Lady Shamrocks then finished second in the Lafayette Jeff Invitational, and followed with a third-place finish behind No. 4 Carmel and No. 5 Hamilton Southeastern in the Zionsville Invitational at Golf Club of Indiana.
Their fourth season outing was a major accomplishment....even better than Neu had envisioned. He was hoping for a top-5 finish in the 21-team field at Saturday's State Preview Tournament at Carmel's Prairie View Golf Club; his girls said they were hoping for a top-3 or better finish as they waited their tree time.
The young kids delivered.
What they managed was a second-place finish among an elite, very elite, field.
"I am really pleased with how well we played today as a team. Obviously we are extremely happy with a runner-up finish,' Neu said.
"We still have room to improve as a team and as individuals....so that is also nice that we have something to work towards.'
The three freshmen led the way again as Westfield shot 335, nine shots behind Martinsville in the 15th Annual event. It was played at Prairie View for the first time.
Henderson had a team-low 76, 4 over par. Wentz followed with a 79. Montalone carded an 84. Kaylee Purcell, the lone senior and who was a Noblesville Times first-team All-County performer and regional qualifier for the second time last season, rounded out the top four with a 96. Sophomore Morgan Baechle finished with a 120.
Only some problems at Nos. 7 and 8 kept the Lady Rocks from going much lower.
Montalone put her tee ball in a tough spot. Her second shot went left and she had big sand bunker to clear for another difficult lie.
Facing an awkward downhill lie from a couple of hundred yards, she dumped a shot into the fairway sand bunker. She needed two shots to get out. It took her two more shots to reach the green. She wore her frustration on her sleeve...but she hung in there the rest of the way, despite taking a triple on that par-5 hole.
Neu said par-4 No. 8 was the real problem hole for his team.
"Our top 4 were 10 overall on that hole, and Cailyn had a triple. It was the only hole Cailyn had higher than a bogey. Margaret also took a double there.'
"It's definitely one we'll talk about how to play differently next time.'
Fourth-ranked Carmel was third at 343 at Prairie View GC, it's home course. No. 5 Hamilton Southeastern was fourth at 346; and Noblesville, playing its first match of the season, was fifth at 364.
Southeastern's Ciara McAree was low medalist with a 74. Carmel's Alyssa Cook joined there others with a 75.
Peyton Gigante's 83 was low for the Lady Millers.
Martinsville 326; Westfield 335; Carmel 343; HSE 346; Noblesville 364; Madison 370; New Palestine 372; Valparaiso 373; Yorktown 373; Center Grove 375; Lafayette Jeff 378; Floyd Central 379; Roncalli 381; Zionsville 383; Jasper 403; Penn 408; Lebanon 411; Terre Haute South 417; Bloomington South 417; Homestead 421; Chatard 486.