HUDSON: The high school girls golf season is underway and Jackson junior Landrie Grace is enjoying every minute of it.
Grace carded a 1-under-par 71 on a hot and humid Monday at Lake Forest Country Club to earn the medalist honor at the Lady Explorers Invitational and lead Jackson to a team title with 319 strokes.
Grace completed her fourth 18-hole round Monday and is 9 under par for the season.
“I am happy with the 71, but I bogeyed the last two holes out of three,” Grace said. “I went in the water on No. 10, so that was a bummer. I had six birdies, which is solid, but I also had five bogeys in return. I am pretty happy with my score and I am really happy our team won because we are missing two of our varsity players.”
Cassie Pantelas, a Seton Hall recruit, and Hannah Lemons, did not play Monday due to freshman orientation at Jackson. Pantelas assisted in the function as a senior and Lemons took part as a freshman.
Grace, senior Jessica Cassidy (82), senior Louisa Engelhardt (83) and junior Gabby Minor (83) scored for Jackson, which won the 13-team event that included several state powers.
Dublin Jerome, the two-time defending Division I state champion, finished second with 321 shots. Highland (342) and Kent Roosevelt (343) were third and fourth.
“That 319 is a very good score on this golf course,” Jackson coach Teal Harvey said. “It is a tough track, tight and as you can see all of the scores are higher. I am sure Jerome can shoot better. We have shot better this year as well, but for the conditions today, that is a very good score.”
Jackson junior Ali Metzger’s 87 was solid, but did not count toward the Polar Bears’ team score because by rule only the top four figure in the team scoring. Jackson also lost Kelsey Schutt to graduation. Schutt plays at Austin Peay.
Grace was in a groove with consecutive birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 and Nos. 5 and 6.
“My wedges to the green were good,” Grace said. “I was sticking the ball right next to the pin, which always helps. My putting was decent. I missed a couple of putts, but that will happen.”
Grace was the only player under par Monday. Erin Harper of Columbus Bishop Watterson placed second with a 72 and Lexie Toth of Dublin Jerome was third with a 75.
“Landrie probably wasn’t happy with that finish, but she has been on a roll,” Harvey said. “She shot 69 twice last week and shot under par once again today. She shot a 69 at Tam O’Shanter Dales [Golf Course] on a par 72 in our Federal League Preseason Tournament, and she shot a 69 down at Turnberry [Golf Course] on a par 74 in the Pickerington Panther Invitational. She is nine under in her last three rounds.”
Grace’s 69 at Tam O’Shanter Dales earned her and her team top honors. Her 69 at Turnberry placed her second to Harper (68) and helped her team to a second-place showing.
Kent Roosevelt junior twin sisters Kasey Nielsen and Kelly Nielsen tied for fourth with 78s. Their sister, freshman Kory Nielsen, shot an 85.
Senior Rachel Horvath led Highland with an 82 and junior Chloe McKinzie added an 84. Freshman Madison Butler (87) and senior Karly Alexander (89) also scored for Highland.
Shelby Lewis of Walsh Jesuit carded an 84.
“Those are all very nice scores on a tough course,” Hudson coach Doug Snelling said. “The conditions were demanding today.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.