After taking second at sectionals last week, the Ben Davis girls’ golf team knew advancing through regional play would be difficult. No. 2 Carmel, No. 4 Zionsville, No. 18 Roncalli and No. 19 Avon all resided in Saturday’s regional at Smock Golf Course.
Ben Davis finished 13th out of 18 teams.
Zionsville (309) won the title, with Carmel (311) coming in second, and Madison (332) coming in third.
Ben Davis’ squad of Claire Thompson (93), Danielle Fishburn (90), Sarah Gaither (98) and Aminah El-Abiad (102) carded a 383.
“Our goal was try to play to our average, which was around 350,” Ben Davis coach Dave Patz said. “If there was a way to play slightly better than that and depending upon what the rest of the field did, there was a chance. It was an up and down day. A couple of girls played to their average and a couple did not.”
Originally, had No. 1 golfer Gabrielle Neff’s score (82) been counted along with the others, the Giants would have finished fourth. But an error or the scorecard wound up in her disqualification.
The error didn’t prove too costly as the team was a far way off from advancing, but Neff was a stroke away from a playoff for an individual spot at the state finals.
“Neff signed for a wrong score and we have been caught up in a scoring error at sectional and at regional,” Patz said. “Hopefully, they will learn a lot from this and will be more accurate on a hole-by-hole basis.”
Neff had a chance to advance before the scoring error, shooting an 82, and missed the cut by one stroke had she not been disqualified.
“She had a good round going until Hole 17 and with a bad lie, hit it into the pond,” Patz said.
One silver lining for the Giants is that their entire regional team returns next season. Ben Davis finished second in both the Marion County Tournament and Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference this season and has a strong base to work with next season.
“This is a team that will maybe reach its peak next year,” Patz said. “We were thrilled to be there and get that experience.”
Future success for the Giants will depend on the offseason program the girls participate in during the winter and how much spring and summer golf that they’re able to get in.
“If we want to compete with the teams that beat us today, we know we have to get a lot better,” Patz said. “That will come in the offseason. We had a successful season, but are all a bit bitter with how it ended.”