CP, Thomas claim DAC golf titles
CHESTERTON -- It's been a topsy-turvy season for Michigan City's Lia Thomas.
The senior two-time state qualifier got off to a roaring start, winning the first three tournaments of the season, before hitting some bumps in the road that carried through Friday's Pat Ford Invitational.
"It's been kind of a roller coaster season for her," Wolves coach Drew White said. "She's had some real rough patches. That first week of the season was one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen. She's had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in her career. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The thing that marks the best golfers is the ability, once you fall down, to get up."
Thomas was faced with a similar scenario in Monday's Duneland Athletic Conference tournament at Sand Creek, where she was meandering through a pedestrian front nine.
"She was five over on the first eight holes," White said. "When your goal is to shoot in the mid 70s, that's not really where you want to be."
Ten holes later, Thomas' strokes to par not only didn't increase, it went down one and she blazed the Marsh nine with a one-under 35 to post a 76. Even with a bogey in the late going, the score gave her a six-shot margin over runner-up Delaney Adams of Crown Point in defending her title at the event.
"I just wanted to put up a good number," Thomas said. "It's been a while since I've had a solid round. It's been a struggle the whole season, just all over, mentally and physically. Coming off the Creek nine, I was talking to Drew, I was telling him how good I was hitting the ball, I just wasn't scoring. He just said keep doing what you're doing and it will come, and it did. I needed to recover from the front nine. I had a lot of stupid bogeys there. I hit the ball good all day, the scoring just happened on my familiar side. Mentally, I kept my composure a lot better than I have, and that showed."
Adams' 82, which included a chip-in eagle, led the Bulldogs to the team title at 366, 15 shots ahead of Lake Central.
Crown Point won Monday's DAC Invitational at Sand Creek, shooting 366. (Photo courtesy of Crown Point Girls Golf Twitter/@CrownBulldog)
"I was solid," Adams said. "I was driving the ball really well. Conditions were really good, the weather was perfect. I loved my group. Lia is very fun to play with. I was really excited to play with her and LC, too. They're one of our top competitors. The team did really well. We've worked really hard all year. This is our goal, so we're all happy. It was close. LC's a good team. dour scores are taken and that's what it takes to win. We have really good players. Everyone contributes. Now it's on to sectionals, hopefully we come out on top there and then regionals and state. It should all fall into place."
Adams' sister Madelyn tied for sixth with an 88, while Valentina Gozo placed ninth at 93. Isabella and Sarah Weiss carded 103 and 104, respectively.
"Sand Creek is a tough course. We came out and practiced, we had a game plan and we executed it to the best of our ability," Bulldogs coach Jennifer Vinovich said. "I don't think we played our best, but we didn't play our worst. We just decided to play smart, try not to blow anything up, try to eliminate the penalties and the three putts. We need to cut off maybe 15, 20 more (strokes) to be where we need to be. Our goal is more like a 340, so we've got some work to do. We hope to make it to Battleground and Prairie View again. We'll see. One day at a time. We just hope to have our players and they can play."
Lake Central was led by Kamyran Golec, who tied City's Taylor Skibinski for third with an 83, and Cierra Kubacki (seventh, 92).