CARMEL — Two weeks ago, 301 girls’ golf teams across the state started their journey towards the same goal — a state championship.
On Saturday, Gibson Southern wrapped up its remarkable season on the links with a 14th-place finish in the IHSAA State Championships at Prairie View Golf Club.
The Lady Titans finished with a team score of 390 after the first round on Friday and shaved 16 strokes off their score during the final round for a two-day total of 764.
“Overall I am happy,” Lady Titans coach Cliff Irvin said as he fought back the tears. “I am really just so happy for our three seniors. I just wanted them to be able to come out here and smile today. There was not much of that yesterday, but I think we were able to do that a little bit more today.”
The three seniors Irvin alluded to are Liz Angermeier, Claire Jones and Allie Sensmeier.
Jones, who was an individual state finalist last season, led the Lady Titans during the final round with an 89 — five strokes better than her first round.
“It’s been bittersweet,” Jones said of her final golf tournament. “I tried not to think about it (ending) and I did not want to take anything for granted. I could not be more thankful for all my teammates, coach Irvin and my family for getting me through this and such a fun experience.”
After a rough start to her round, Jones starting putting it all together over her final nine holes. She strung together six straight pars before finishing with a double bogey.
The lefty admitted she may have been a little distracted during the final hole in which she landed in a green-side bunker and needed two shots to get out.
“I should not have been thinking about it but I did start to think this would be the last time I would be on the golf course and the last time with my teammates,” Jones said. “But overall, I thought I had a good finish to my round after a pretty rough first nine holes.”
For her round, Jones finished with nine pars on her scorecard which nearly doubled her total of five from Friday.
Angermeier knocked seven shots off her score from Friday with a final round score of 99. The senior recorded a pair of pars and also registered a birdie.
Angermeier’s birdie came on the 437-yard Par 5 No. 13.
Sensmeier finished with a 95, one stroke higher than her Friday total.
Hillary Humbaugh rounded out the scoring for the Lady Titans. The sophomore recorded a 91 which was a five-shot improvement from the first round.
She also carded a birdie on No. 13 to go along with five pars.
The sophomore, who is expected to be the Lady Titans top golfer next season, mentioned she feels blessed to have played two seasons with Angermeier, Jones and Sensmeier.
“I am so lucky to have had them as teammates,” the sophomore said of the three seniors. “They showed me what it looks like to lead a team and hopefully I can do the same.”
Humbaugh also talked about what it meant to play on such an accomplished team this season.
“It’s been quite the experience,” Humbaugh said. “We are just so lucky to make it to state. We knew coming in we did not have any expectations on us. It was all just about trying to have fun...out of all the golf teams in the state, for us to be 14th is pretty amazing, I like it.”
Freshman Vanessa Schmitt was the Lady Titans No. 5 golfer and finished with a 125. Schmitt did have one of the Lady Titans three birdies on the day as she carded a red number on the 146-yard Par 3 No. 15.
Homestead edged last year’s state champions and top ranked Evansville North for the team title. Homestead posted a two-day total of 605 — 12 strokes better than North.
Homestead’s total score matched North’s winning score last year which is one stroke off Carmel’s state record set in 2013 at The Legends GC.