It’s no accident the 11th-ranked Center Grove girls golf team played at Smock Golf Course three times during the regular season.
Considering Smock is where Saturday’s Roncalli Regional takes place, there is no such thing as too much familiarity if you’re Trojans coach Jim Williams.
“We’ve tried to spend as much time over there as possible,” said Williams, whose program took part in separate invitationals hosted by Roncalli and Franklin Central and even played a dual match at Smock against the Rebels. “We’ve played pretty well over there.”
Williams knows his players must again if Center Grove is going to qualify for the state finals for a second straight season.
The Trojans are one of three local programs still in contention.
Whiteland by placing third at the Mt. Vernon Sectional takes part in the Lapel Regional, while Roncalli’s third-place performance at the Southport Sectional earned it five tee times at Smock, as well.
Qualifying individually for the Roncalli Regional is Franklin Community golfer Avery Auton, who is coming off a sectional round of 95. Greenwood’s Julianne Lamey and Indian Creek senior Hannah Johnson will play at the Lapel and Washington sites, respectively.
Center Grove’s team score of 338 bested runner-up Perry Meridian by 23 strokes at sectional. Junior Shelby Schier shot 82 to lead the Trojans, while senior Sydney Abbott was one back with an 83.
The remainder of Williams’ lineup also played well under pressure — Lucy Young with an 86, Hannah Wilson’s 87 and Breanna Davis posting an 88.
Williams would like to see a team score in the low- to mid-330s Saturday, but knows it’s anything but a given based on the venue.
“Just based off of girls golf, Smock is a tough course to play. Length comes into play and there are situations where there are creeks and ponds. And if the breeze picks up out there it can change everything,” Williams said.
Whiteland coach Kristen Welker isn’t nearly as familiar with Edgewood Golf Course in Anderson, home to the Lapel Regional. However, Warriors players were able to play a practice round there earlier in the week.
Not considered one of the teams favored to advance to the state finals, Whiteland still plans to make its regional experience memorable.
“We’ve talked about the mindset of having fun and playing their own game. There’s no pressure, so the girls know to compete with themselves to do what they’re capable of,” Welker said.
Starts: 8 a.m.
Where: Smock Golf Course, Indianapolis
Local teams: Center Grove, Roncalli
Local player: Avery Auton, Franklin Community
Starts: 8:30 a.m.
Where: Country Oaks Golf Club, Montgomery
Local player: Hannah Johnson, Indian Creek
Starts: 9 a.m.
Where: Edgewood Golf Course, Anderson
Local team: Whiteland
Local player: Julianna Lamey, Greenwood