• Val T.

Lingenfelter ties for 55th at state state finals

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

CARMEL –- Rochester senior Kristianna Lingenfelter hit her tee shot on the par-4 ninth hole – her 18th hole of the day -- in the second round at the IHSAA girls golf state finals at Prairie View Golf Club way to the left and into the tall grass.

She put her second shot into the fairway 88 yards from the hole.

And on her third shot, she took out a pitching wedge. She used a three-quarters swing – what she calls her “nine o’clock” swing -- and sent it soaring into the air before it dropped a foot from the hole.

“Told you I was going to get a par,” Lingenfelter said to coach Chad Thomas, smiling as she said.

Lingenfelter then went and tapped it in for that par.

It capped a day in which Lingenfelter shot an 86. After shooting an 89 in the first round Friday, it gave her a 175 total for two days and a tie for 55th place in the field of 100.

She started Saturday in a tie for 64th.

“I was going to make par here, either par or birdie,” Lingenfelter said. “Because I did not want to shoot 87. Come on. I needed to shoot either 85 or 86. And so when I got up to that shot, I just took a 50-degree (wedge), and I had been short all day. Every time I tried to match yardages, I had been short because of the wind. And so, I was like, you know what, I’m just going to hit a 100-yard shot, and it landed right in front of the hole, hit the pin and bounced back. … That was really fun.”

Said RHS coach Chad Thomas: “To finish that way on the last hole of her high school career is pretty great. It was almost like something you\d see Seve Ballesteros do. That’s her dad’s golfing hero. She pulled a little Seve out of her hat, I told her dad.”

Lapel sophomore Macy Beeson shot 74-72 for a 146 total and individual state medalist honors.

Evansville North shot rounds of 305-320 for a 625 total and the team state title. Homestead was second with a 628. Evansville North has won five of the last seven state titles.

Lingenfelter started both of her state rounds on the back nine. She quadruple-bogeyed No. 10 and followed with back-to-back double-bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 on Saturday. After that, she played the final 14 holes in 6-over-par.

No. 10 was troublesome for Lingenfelter. She also double-bogeyed that hole to start her Friday round.

“The majority of my shots came from my first four holes,” Lingenfelter said. “I lost only one ball today, and that was on the first hole. … I don’t really know what I was expecting other than I was expecting I would play that first hole better than yesterday. Because I got a double yesterday, and I ended up getting a quad today.

“Then I went par, and I was expecting to par the next hole, and I got double on that hole. And then I was expecting to opar the next hole after that, and I got double on that hole as well.”

The slow start brought out a cathartic reaction.

“And then I cried. And then after that, I got it together,” Lingenfelter said. “Other than the first four holes, I don’t think I wasted too many shots.”

Thomas joked when asked to explain what happened on the first four holes.

“We forgot to buy mulligans in the pro shop,” Thomas said. “She hit a great tee shot on 10. We decided to try and hit a little knock-down hybrid, and she just leaked it to the right and hit the trees, and it went in the hazard. And then from there, she hit it in the bunker, and it just compounded. One bad swing cost her there. … If she was frustrated, she got it out of her system real swing.”

Lingenfelter was asked if it was a coincidence that she started playing better after she cried.

“It was not a coincidence,” Lingenfelter said. “I definitely needed to cry things out before I decided to play better. The last three holes (Friday), I needed to buckle down to get under 90, and I cried before the last three holes. I wouldn’t say that’s a coincidence.”

If No. 10 troubled her both days, Lingenfelter figured out a way to improve on No. 6, a short but tight par-3 with a deep bunker in front and to the right of the green.

On Friday, Lingenfelter landed her tee shot in the bunker and needed three hacks to get it out of the bunker. She chipped and then two-putted for a quadruple-bogey.

On Saturday, Lingenfelter’s tee shot carried the bunker and stopped in the fringe behind the hole. Using her putter from the second cut, she two-putted from there for a par.

“I think part of it has to do with the confidence thing because I probably could have made that 7 into a 5 if I had just gotten that second shot out of the bunker,” Lingenfelter said. “I think my bunker shots hadn’t been doing very well practicing, so in the tournament, I felt like they were good-luck shots, the ones that I hit well. And so I was thinking, alright, some more good luck is going to hit me here, and it didn’t and it shook confidence, and then I just didn’t play very well from there.”

She said her favorite shot was not No. 9 on Saturday but No. 2 on Friday, when she used a 5-hybrid club and that led to a par. Thomas agreed and also mentioned the tee shot on her third hole Friday.

She said she “underestimated” the course after playing a practice round Wednesday. She said the course was hard and firm. Balls rolled a bit longer if a player could hit the fairway off the tee. On the other hand, the greens were fast.

She said that state was less stressful than sectionals or regionals. After all, she wasn’t playing to advance.

“There’s a lot of difficulty on this course,” Lingenfelter said. “I don’t think I was as prepared as I could have been mentally, but physically, my swing was pretty good.”

Lingenfelter is the fourth sister in her family to make the state finals. Thomas and Lyle Lingenfelter, Kristianna’s father and the PGA Professional at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek, used the old plan sheets that older sisters Karsten, Kovenant and Kinley used when they played in the state finals.

“I think she did a tremendous job mentally, and what I’m most proud of her is her mental focus and battling both days,” Thomas said. “Even when she hit a bad shot, she wouldn't ruah herself, and she would focus on the next one. And I’m very proud of her for that.”

IHSAA state finals at Prairie View Golf Club, Carmel, Friday-Saturday (par 72)

Evansville North 625, Homestead 628, Carmel 635, Culver Academy 648, Westfield 650, Columbus North 664, Hamilton Southeastern 674, Center Grove 698, Noblesville 698, Castle 717, Crown Point 728, NorthWood 743, Greenfield-Central 748, Concord 749, Western 771

Top individuals: 1. Macy Beeson (Lapel) - 146, 2. Michaela Headlee (Carmel) - 147, 3. Chloe Johnson (Evansville North) - 148, 4. Reese Wilson (Culver Academy) - 149, 5. Madison Dabagia (Homestead) - 150, 6. Simone Senk (Homestead) - 151, t-7. Destynie Sheridan (Evansville North), t-7. Samantha Brown (Westfield), 9. Katelyn Kuc (Carmel) - 155, 10. Christina Pfefferkorn (Guerin Catholic) - 156, t-55. Kristianna Lingenfelter (Rochester) - 175

Kristianna Lingenfelter’s Round 1 scorecard (89):

Pars: 9 (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 17)

Bogeys: 3 (Nos. 5, 7, 15)

Double-bogeys: 5 (Nos. 3, 10, 13, 16, 18)

Quadruple-bogey: 1 (No. 6)

Kristianna Lingenfelter’s Round 2 scorecard (86):

Pars: 9 (Nos. 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18)

Bogeys: 6 (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 15)

Double-bogeys: 2 (Nos. 12, 13)

Quadruple-bogey: 1 (No. 10)

NOTE: Lingenfelter started play on No. 10 in both rounds.


Rochester senior Kristianna Lingenfelter surveys a shot from the fairway on No. 9, her 18th hole of the day, at the IHSAA state finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel Saturday. RHS coach Chad Thomas, foreground, looks on. Lingenfelter shot rounds of 89-86 for a 175 total at state. She finished in a tie for 55th place.



Rochester senior Kristianna Lingenfelter shot a 175 and finished in a tie for 55th place at the IHSAA girls golf state finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel Saturday. From left - RHS volunteer assistant coach Lyle Lingenfelter, Kristianna, RHS coach Chad Thomas.


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