Mangan medals in first 2020 outingAugust 5, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
SANTA CLAUS — Grace Mangan would like to improve on her driving between now and Monday against Pike Central. However, the next time she takes the golf course to work on that, she’ll do so with already one medalist performance under her belt.
The Heritage Hills junior made her season debut Wednesday at Christmas Lake Golf Course against Boonville. The Patriots had three golfers, which wasn’t enough to field a team, but Mangan shot a 47 — finishing with the lowest score on the day out of a pack of eight golfers on nine holes played.
“I think my seven (iron) really came in handy today,” Mangan said. “My drives weren’t the best. I’m really hitting it right, but I’ll fix that.”
Mangan has put an emphasis on her putting game, and she had multiple holes on Wednesday where she made it in on her first putt. She’s hoping her driving will be straighter and that she’ll also get more consistent, as she scored a six on a few holes, and a seven on one of them.
Heritage Hills coach Dave Jochim thought it was nice that Mangan medaled on Wednesday, but he believes his regional qualifier from a year ago can go lower than 47.
“She left some out there — especially I think with some putts,” Jochim said. “But this was (the) first match. The kids did great. They exceed expectations, and they’re laughing yet. There’s no crying, so it was a successful day.”
All Coming Together
Only Mangan and her senior sister, Sarah, who shot a 60 on Wednesday, consisted of the Heritage Hills girls golf team back in July, but a third golfer joined them in time against the Pioneers. Junior Abi Wilson first came out for the team on Monday, got her two practices in and competed on Wednesday.
Wilson had prior golf experience, but the last time she golfed nine holes was when she was approximately 12. She previously played soccer for the Pats, but decided to try something different this year. Wilson is part of a golfing family, and thought it would be a cool experience since she was already friends with her teammates. She finished with a score of 69.
“I played a little bit throughout this quarantine since they were open, but it was definitely a bit of a like, ‘Oh,’ kind of like when you ride a bike,” Wilson said. “It takes you a second, but you remember most of what you’re doing.”
She found herself in the sand at times on Wednesday, and would also like to work on her game on the fairway, but Jochim praised Wilson for being a good competitor and a great kid.
“I saw improvement out on the course,” he said. “I really think that she’ll improve — I really do. She shot 69. I think she’ll be in the low sixties, I really think she can.”
The Pats had to be scored as individuals in their first outing, but a fourth golfer could join them as soon as next week. Four golfers would give them the team they are looking for.
“At the start, I was a little disappointed no one was coming out because Sarah and I would love to have some company out here, but we’re very excited for the season,” Grace said.”
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