|Crawford County senior Chelsea Benham watches this chip shot land on the green of the 16th hole of the Old English Golf Course during her round of 47 to individually win the Lady Pack's duel meet against Corydon.|
Old English tough on Lady Pack, Corydon
Lady Pack edge Lady Panthers by two strokes
September 03, 2008
Crawford County and Corydon Central took on each other in a duel golf match last Monday afternoon, but it was the Old English Golf Course that seemed to be the winner as both teams struggled through their nine-hole rounds. The Lady Pack, however, managed to hold on to get the win by just two strokes.
Crawford's Chelsea Benham and Corydon's Heidi Zimmerman both got off to good starts with their initials drives on their first holes. Heather Uhl, Zimmerman's teammate, and Brandi Lewicki of Crawford both saw their first tee shots go flying in directions they weren't happy with, and both struggled with the first few holes.
Hole number 14 became a turning point for Benham and Lewicki, with Benham's play slipping while Lewicki saw her game improve. Lewicki had her first shot find the bunker on that hole, but she kept her head in the game, going on to solidly par the next long 15th hole. Benham struggled on the 14th green and from that point on.
"I think it was, I just got frustrated real easy," Benham said. "I started playing off well. My drives were really good, then I messed up on my putting on 14 and my chipping just left me. That's probably what hurt me the most, was my chipping, because I bladed about three or four of my short chips, which added on another four strokes right there."
Lewicki said she became more comfortable after the 14th hole.
"I started off pretty rough, and that's usually how it happens for me," she said. "I start out getting a little warmed up and having a little bit of chunky shots. As the day goes on, I get better, and that's how it worked out for me today."
The 14th hole was frustrating for Zimmerman, as well. The Corydon freshman also found the front bunker on her tee shot, just two feet from Lewicki's. Zimmerman hit solidly out of the trap, leaving a 14-foot putt. The downhill putt looked like it was going to go straight into the hole to save par but suddenly died just five inches from the cup.
"The greens here are a lot slower than Corydon's," Zimmerman said. "Most courses the greens aren't as fast as Corydon's, and every time we play a match, we have to get used to it. We haven't had a home match yet this year. We don't have one till Sept. 4."
Zimmerman admitted to not being real comfortable on the English course.
"When I'm going to the tee and I see sand here and I don't want to be in that and then there's trees, I'm thinking, 'This is tight,' and then I don't want to be in that over there," she said. "There's water here. That's like a mental thing; I need to block all that out and not think about it and hit it solid. That's what I do a lot."
The 16th hole found Benham in the trees on her tee shot, forcing the Crawford senior to take a drop. Benham's next shot found the steep bank on the right side, then a chip shot went across the green to another steep side before finding the green on her fourth shot of the hole. Lewicki, however, was finding both fairways and greens and was playing much more confidently.
"I definitely felt more comfortable," Lewicki said. "I was trying to concentrate more, and I didn't want to shoot in the upper 50s again. I just wanted to concentrate more and ease the nerves as the day went on."
Lewicki had a good warm-up period before the match and also got some help from former Crawford number one on the boys' team, Lyndon Jones.
"Sometimes it works to your advantage, and sometimes it doesn't," Lewicki said of the warm-ups. "I had Lyndon help me on my chip shots, and they've really improved since then. It's getting a lot better."
Benham went on finish with a low round of 47 for the nine holes, and Lewicki was just two shots behind with a round of 49.
"All of mine, except for one hole, I had good putting," Benham said. "Everything would just go to the right or to the left or just be a little bit short. I don't know if they were acting funny or our putters were acting funny. They would not go in the hole for anything. I don't remember anyone having a really long putt. I remember on the first four or five holes I two-putted every hole because I just left an inch in between the hole and the ball."
Lewicki said she feels better at getting closer to Benham's play and has a goal for the season.
"I want to be pretty close to her," she said. "I really want to go to regional. I was so close last year, and I just want to fulfill that this year. I started out with a pretty bad score, then it would go down and I'd have another rough day, but then it's been coming down ever since. It's definitely improving."
Zimmerman finished with a round of 51, with Uhl and Kylie Hall finishing with 55 each for the nine holes. Zimmerman said her first shots were solid but after that, her short game went long.
"I started off pretty well, but then my last couple of holes were pretty bad," she said. "My drives are pretty good. My brother tweaked my drives. He helped that out, but I wasn't hitting my irons good or any of my approach shots."
"The last two holes I had a 7 and 8," she said. "This is my second worst match this year. My putting started off this year pretty bad and then it got better, but now it's getting pretty bad again. I just didn't hit my irons or anything very solid. I just didn't represent Corydon very well today, and I felt bad about that."
Zimmerman said it would take more practice to get her confidence back.
"If I don't practice before a match, it's bad," she said. "I played once this weekend, and I didn't play yesterday. I need to find time, and I didn't. I need to go out and play the course because I haven't been doing that. I need to go out and get those different types of shots."
Benham said her main focus would be to work on her short game.
"I haven't been playing as well as I was earlier in the season," the Crawford senior said. "I don't know what it is. I'm not concentrating enough as I should be. Mainly it's just my chipping, because first, it was my driver, but now I got that straightened out and now something else has to go wrong.
"Now, I've just got to work on my chipping. I can't keep blading them. I've got to learn to get them up in the air and put them where it's going to roll to the pin and not roll past the pin."
Crawford County 219
(Chelsea Benham 47, Brandi Lewicki 49, Nikki Kitchens 57, Alivia Newton 66)
(Heidi Zimmerman 51, Heather Uhl 55, Kylie Hall 55, Jessica Bartley 60)
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