Golf Swings Presents
|Icing on the cake|
Providence senior Aubrey Alexander starts play in the IHSAA Girls' Golf State Finals today. She qualified for state
by shooting a career-best 82 at last weekend's Bedford North Lawrence Regional at Otis Park Golf Course. Alexander advanced by being one of the the top three individuals on non-advancing teams.
|By MIKE HUTSELL
Assistant Sports Editor
Aubrey Alexander's cake already had the icing. But it still needed a little something else. When the Providence High School senior qualified for the IHSAA Girls' Golf Regional two weeks ago, she was happy --- but far from satisfied.
"My Dad and coach told me this was the icing on the cake, being able to go play at the regional again," Alexander said. "They told me to enjoy it, but I still had a goal in mind."
Her goal was to advance past the regional and move on to the state championship meet, which begins today at Legends Golf Course in Franklin. Mission accomplished. Alexander was one of three individuals on non-advancing team to advance past last Saturday's regional held a Otis Park Golf Course in Bedford. In her 18-hole round, Alexander shot her career best at Otis Park with an 82.
"It was like putting my name on the cake," Alexander said. With her coach, family and her Pioneer team-mates cheering her on, Alexander posted what her coach called "the best round he's seen her play," to make it to state.
At regional, Alexander recorded nothing over a bogey. "She was on that day," said Providence coach John Black. "No double bogeys on that course is really tough for a kid to do. It was the best I'd seen her play for sure. She made some shots that were real tough ones for any player to make.
"On the back nine, she broke 40 for the first time this year. Coming in, she had made a 40 and that was her best nine holes, but on the backside ----- which is a pretty tough nine ------she hit a 39. She's in a groove."
Alexander said last Saturday was a rare day for any golfer, a day when all facets of the game were clicking at once. "Everything was working, putting, chipping, hitting off the tee," she said. " And in golf that almost never happens. It seems like every time I play, something's not going right. It was a lot of fun."
Alexander entered 2003 as the lone Pioneer returning from last year's regional team. She had to help a young team throughout the course of the season improve from a squad that placed last in the season-opening Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational to one that just missed advancing past sectional.
|"I don't think anyone could have handled it any better than she did," Black said, "She was positive throughout. I really feel like she enjoyed being a leader, and the team learned a great deal from her.
"After the first week of the season, I think as a team we were 1-20. But by the end of the year, I think we had a winning mark overall. And as a No.1, I think Aubrey was only beaten head-to-head two or three times. She was consistently good all season. This couldn't happen to a better kid."
Alexander said being a leader was something she had been looking forward to for quite some time. "I was on some teams with some really good players, and I always looked up to them," said Alexander.
"When I was a sophomore, I was watching Gretchen (Zoeller) help the team get to state, and last year I saw Alexandra (Koetter) and some of the things she did to help the team. This year, I was really looking forward to being the older one out there, the player the team was looking to."
Not that she needed any more motivation but when Providence advanced as a team to state in 2001,
|Alexander was listed as an alternate and did not get to travel with the squad. "I wanted to go back," she said. " I missed that when I was a sophomore and I just wanted to be a part of it once."|
Monday marked the first time that Alexander had ever played the course at Legends when she went for a proctice round. "It's a really nice course, I like the layout and it's beautiful," she said. "hopefully after Friday, I'll be saying the same things about it."
"The state final is a two-day tournament with a cut after day one. Two season ago, Zoeller just missed moving on to the second day after shooting an 80. Black estimates it will probably take near that score for Alexander to advance, "It'll be close to an 80, I'm sure," said Black. "And she's more than capable of that."
" I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself," Alexander said. "I'm happy about being there and I know I can shoot well enough to move on. "
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