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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
East Noble’s Katie Sharp shot a 1-under 71 to earn medalist honors during Monday’s regional at Cobblestone Golf Course in Kendallville.

Delay no issue for aces

Concordia, East Noble golfers advance to state

– Concordia’s Melissa Greener was happy to see the East Noble Girls Golf Regional postponed Saturday. For East Noble’s Katie Sharp, it was just business as usual.

The two seniors waited an extra 48 hours, and they will be the only two area representatives at the state finals after advancing as individuals at Cobblestone on Monday.

“I was on top of the world Saturday, and this brought me back down to earth and I played how I knew how to play,” said Greener, who celebrated her 18th birthday Saturday. “It helped to level everything off.”

Sharp’s 1-under 71 earned her medalist honors for the third straight season, while Greener finished fourth with an 80. The top five individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.

“This happened last year, but then I came out on Monday just had to play one hole,” Sharp said of the two-day delay. “It feels like a Saturday, so it isn’t that much different.”

Sharp, who tied for third as a freshman at the regional, had to battle some new competition with the addition of two sectionals to the field as well as battling the elements.

“I was hitting the ball pretty decent, and my putting was average,” Sharp said. “I held it together until the end, and it was a battle because of the wind and all.”

The Michigan State recruit beat out Penn’s Kari Bellville (73), who was a newcomer to the regional.

“It’s definitely different from last year, and the year before that,” Sharp said of Bellville, a good friend. “It did motivate me a little more because I wanted to beat her, which is natural.”

Sharp shot a 34 on the front side and a 37 on the back, which she played first because of the postponement schedule.

“She is right now … just steady as can be,” East Noble coach Richard Bentz said of Sharp. “In baseball, they call (Albert) Pujols the ‘machine.’ In high school golf, that is Katie Sharp. She has to be one of the favorites to win state.”

The state appearance Friday and Saturday at The Legends in Franklin will be a first for Greener.

“I am shell shocked,” Greener said. “I cannot believe it. It is so surreal. My senior year, got to make it count.”

Greener and Concordia teammate Nicole Norton (85) played as individuals.

“I was doing good, and then I had a couple of blowup holes on the back, but then I turned right around and got birdies and just kept it going,” Greener said. “My putting was on top of it for me. I read the greens and everything was dropping.”

Penn won the regional with a 323, Rochester was second with a 338 and Marion was the third and final state qualifying team with a 339. Homestead was fourth with a 346, Warsaw fifth with a 357, DeKalb sixth with a 360, East Noble seventh with a 365 and Bishop Dwenger eighth with a 368.

gjones@jg.net

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