Braves make season debut, Owls improve at Seymour Invitational


Golf coaches Jim Hoffman of Seymour and Brandon Allman of Brownstown Central said they saw a lot of pluses from their girls golf teams in the Seymour Invitational on Wednesday.

Westfield showed why it is ranked No. 2 in the state poll by shooting a 300 to easily win the tournament. Westfield won the Bloomington South Invitational on Monday with a score of 295.

The Westfield B team shot 342 as all 10 Shamrock players shot 93 or lower, led by the 1-2 finish of Sam Brown at 69 and Sophie McGinnis at 72.

New Albany edged Columbus East 352-353 for third, Madison edged Seymour 401-404 for fifth and Jennings County edged Brownstown 408-411 for seventh.

“It was a lot better than Monday,” Hoffman said as his team scored 447 at Bloomington Country Club.

Liza Stuckwisch was low for the Owls with 46-52-98, and Lainey Jackson was next at 47-52-99. Hoffman said he almost had three girls break 100 as Katie Cottrill scored 49-52-101, and Phoebe Skidmore rounded out Seymour’s scores with 106.

“We were much better,” Hoffman said. “I still think we’re 20 or 25 strokes better than we’re doing, but we knocked off 43 strokes from what we did Monday, and a lot of that was putting. Liza Stuckwisch broke 100 and stepped up. She had a great day, enjoyed herself. It was great to see her play well and have a great time with it.”

Stuckwisch said she was really proud of her score. She shot 117 on Monday.

“It’s the first time I’ve broke 100,” she said of playing on the Owls’ home course Wednesday. “I think my putting was a big thing. I’m more used to these greens. On Monday, they were super fast. I think I just had a better mental attitude today.”

Stuckwisch started on Hole 18 and shot a 7, and then everything improved from there. She thought her drives improved, her irons were more consistent and her putting is where she dropped all her strokes.

“I need to work on consistency and my overall game, and I can get better putting still,” she said. “I like the front nine (at Shadowood) better. I play it more is the reason I like it.”

Brownstown didn’t play Monday, so this was the Braves’ first competition of the season.

Payton Ault was low with 44-49-93, and she was followed by Lexie Satterthwaite at 47-53-100, Hannah Hackman at 108, Emma Hughbanks at 110 and Kelsey Ault at 120.

“The positive thing, I saw a lot of good shots,” Allman said. “I know this is the first time Hannah had broken 110, so she was excited, and I think this is the lowest score Payton has had in a high school match. Hannah was hitting the ball off the tee really well, especially early. Lexie was really positive. She shot a 47 on the front nine, which is one of her lower scores.”

Allman thinks the team is close to where it wants to be.

“If we can figure out how to get rid some of those big numbers, a lot of that is just being more consistent, not shanking a shot here or there,” he said.

Kelsey Ault said she had trouble with the water Wednesday. She also didn’t think her short game was very good, but she was pleased with her drives.

“Last season, I scored better (in this tournament). I was below 110, and then my score in conference (here) helped us win,” she said. “I’m going to be putting and chipping in practice. My irons didn’t go very far at all (Wednesday). That was my problem at regional last year. I shot 98, but if my short game was better, I would have done better.”

Both teams believe they have a lot to look forward to.

For Seymour, its 1-2 players in Jackson and Skidmore still haven’t hit their stride yet. With Stuckwisch stepping up and Cottrill improving vastly from Monday, Hoffman thinks they are in good shape.

“Our freshman, Katie Cottrill, shoots a 101, which is 20 strokes better than Monday,” Hoffman said. “Phoebe and Lainey are going to be good. They’re going to be in the 80s. Our shots were better. Our putts were better. It was a good day, and we played quick. The greens were like they should be where kids can putt them. I’m really proud of our effort. The girls stayed positive even after Monday.”

Bright things are coming around, he said.

“I think we’re going to be able to do what we want to do when we get to sectional time. We’ve just got to get everything lined out and get going,” Hoffman said.

The Owls will host New Albany on Monday at Shadowood, and the Braves will host Mitchell the same day at Hickory Hills Golf Club.

“We’ve just got to hit the ball more consistent,” Allman said.

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