Chesterton Tribune

Photo: Kelly Grassel wins IHSAA State Golf Title

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By TR HARLAN

Kelly Grassel … State Champion!

It was a goal from the time she started playing and after shooting 75 and 73 for a 148 total at the Legends of Indiana Golf Club in Franklin last weekend, she realized the goal.

“It feels pretty amazing,” Grassel said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s been a goal of mine for quite a while.”

Chesterton junior Kelly Grassel overcame a slow start to both days and battled her way to a one-stroke victory over Hamilton Southeastern’s Brooke Beegle.

“She got off to a tough start both days, but nothing bothers her,” Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt said. “Kelly’s played so much tournament golf that she knows how to play. She didn’t have her absolute best stuff either day and really grinded it out both days.

“I was impressed with her toughness.”

Grassel got off to the tough start on Friday as she teed off beginning with the par 5 10th hole. After hitting a drive down the middle, Grassel’s second shot found the pond to the right of the green. She would bogey two of her first four holes.

“I didn’t start out well either day,” Grassel said. “I’ve had had a lot of experience in playing tournaments. I know anything can happen. You just have to take it one shot at a time.

“Both days I came back and made some birdies.”

The junior did just that with birdies on the 14, 16 and 18 to finish her first nine holes one-under par. Grassel recorded six pars in shooting an opening round 75, one-shot out of the lead.

Heading to day two for the second time in two years, Grassel brought along some friends this time as the Trojans shot an opening day 335 to finish tied for fourth place.

“It was awesome that the team did so well and we’d never done that before and it helped a lot to have them on the second day,” Grassel said. “I was very relaxed because the rest of the girls were there. It’s so different when they are playing too.”

In round two on Saturday, Grassel again got off to a rough start by bogeying three of her first four holes.

“This has been a goal of mine for so long,” Grassel said. “There are so many variables that I just try to focus on my game and the next shot.”

Grassel started her run back up the leaderboard on the fifth hole with a birdie. After making par on the rest of the front nine, a birdie on 10 and 13 was followed by three more pars.

“There certainly wasn’t too much coaching going on,” Hewitt said. “I knew she was good enough to do this if she played well.”

A bogey on 17 and par on 18 gave Grassel a one-over par 73 and 148 total score.

“I think now that I’ve achieved it, I think I’ll be nervous but relaxed for next year,” Grassel said. “Anything from here will be icing on the cake.”

 

Posted 10/3/2011