Kaela Tormoehlen was all smiles as she bounded off Otis Park Golf Course’s 18th hole after her final putt.
In her first golf invitational of the season, the Brownstown Central senior carded a career-best 84 to finish fifth out of 35 golfers Tuesday at the Bedford North Lawrence Invitational.
“It was awesome, I played so well, and it felt so good,” Tormoehlen said. “I shot an 88 at regionals last year (at Otis Park), and I was hoping to just get close to that on the first invitational. My putting and drives were better than they’ve been. You can only go further from here.”
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Bloomington South took first-place honors with 340.
Bedford North Lawrence shot 358 for second, Gibson Southern carded a 362, the Braves notched 397, North Harrison scored 417 and Seymour finished with 518.
New Albany didn’t score as a team on the day due to a lack in numbers.
Bloomington South’s Cherise Otter, the 2014 state champion, took top medalist with a 71 (-1) on 18 holes.
Braves sophomore Emma Zabor shot a 94 in her first-ever golf invitational.
The Braves’ Breonna Bottorff shot a 107, Morgan Chastain scored 112 and freshman KaCee Collins added a 126.
The Owls, who brought four golfers to the invite, were led by sophomore Bailey Goben’s 106.
“It was pretty fun; it’s a tough course,” Goben said. “Its very challenging. I think the greens move really fast. It was fun being back out here (on the golf course). We played with some great people today. My chipping was pretty good today.”
Junior Hannah Thompson carded a 109, while Kara Rice finished with 150 and Jenna Elber shot 153 for the Owls.
This season, the Owls look to rebuild after losing four seniors to graduation.
The Bedford North Lawrence invite also kicked off the Owls’ 2015 season.
The Braves and Owls have new faces at the coaching helm.
Boys golf coach Brandon Allman now also coaches the Braves’ girls team and RaeAnn Wintin is in her inaugural year with the Owls.
“It was really exciting being out here, today was special,” Wintin said of her first invite. “I was just looking to see that they played with intent and were mindful of their shots that they were taking. I think our girls really need to work on putting. There were a lot of extra putts today that probably weren’t necessary.”
For Allman, his girls exceeded expectations for the first tournament of the season.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Allman said. “The girls really exceeded what I thought they were going to shoot coming in. I honestly thought we would have one girl in the 90s and another break 100.
“Emma Zabor shot a 94, and it’s the first year she’s playing golf. It makes me feel good right now. It’s early, so I don’t want to get too overzealous, but I have high hopes.”
Last season, the Braves advanced to the regional as a team under then-coach Jennifer Schneider. The Braves are without two seniors from their 2014 campaign.
The Owls will host the Seymour Invitational today at Shadowood; the Braves also will attend.
“I’m expecting some lower scores on our home course,” Wintin said. “Shadowood is a lot flatter. We like to play at Otis Park, but it’s a tough course. It’s very hilly, and there are some challenging holes. It will be good tomorrow because we will have five (golfers), I only entered four today.”
Wintin said the Owls will have five golfers at today’s home invite.