Top Cat makes sweet swings a habit

Ariana van den Akker/The Herald
Jasper’s Annie Getzin carded a 1-under par Saturday, snagging medalist honors in the 14-team Wildcat Invitational at Jasper Municipal Golf Course. Getzin’s round of 70 helped the Wildcats finish third, while Forest Park took 12th place and Southridge was 14th.

Herald Sports Writer

JASPER — There are some who say golf is a game for the serious-minded. For those who compete with a steely intensity and intend to bury their opponents with intimidation and vigor.

Those people never watched Annie Getzin play golf.

“We try to keep it easygoing and fun,” the Wildcat senior said. “We like to joke around a little bit. They call me a nut cause I’m a little weird.”

Golf is always fun when one plays like Getzin did at Saturday’s Wildcat Invitational. The senior led all golfers, shooting a 1-under par 70. Getzin’s performance paced the Jasper Black team (366) to a third-place finish, despite the loss of No. 2 golfer Annika Harmon, who withdrew after five holes because of health reasons. The Wildcats’ White Team (405) finished two spots below at fifth place while 12th-place Forest Park (453) and 14th-place Southridge (533) followed. Floyd Central finished first (350) followed by Center Grove (363).

On a hot day when golfers and coaches donned pink shirts, shorts, shoes or ribbons for cancer awareness, everyone was all smiles, especially Jasper coach Steve Milligan, who had reason to be particularly happy. Besides the solid performance of his team, the invitational — along with donations collected from Jasper’s home football game Friday — raised more than $700 toward Coaches vs. Cancer, a national fundraising and cancer-awareness organization. All proceeds will go to the Lange-Fuhs Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital.

“I told the team that morning to never give up,” said Milligan, who has been in remission from brain cancer for a year and a half. “Yeah, you’re going to hit a bad shot. It’s golf.”

It seems Getzin took Milligan’s advice to heart, although the bad shots were few and far between. On a blistering back nine known for its steep terrain, Getzin shot a 36. That was not the case a year ago, when she dropped a 10 on hole 13 at the sectional. This time around, she cheered when she sank a putt for par on the same hole.

“It’s a rough par,” Getzin said. “I almost went in the water and then went over (the green) and then on and had an 11-foot put for par. I was like, ”˜I don’t care, it went in the hole.’”

All during the day, Getzin kept it light, encouraging her teammates and competitors, speaking in strange voices to keep everyone relaxed, and finding a spark from an unlikely source: sugar.

“At one point, I was just eating straight-up Sugar Babies just to keep going,” Getzin said. “Just the slightest spark right before you hit, just so you’re in the zone.”

Stamina became a critical factor during the six-hour-plus tournament as temperatures hovered near 90 all afternoon. Forest Park coach Bryce Morrison recognized that his team may have felt the effects of only its second 18-hole tournament this season.

“Everybody’s pretty wiped out,” Morrison said. “It’s a whole different ballgame when you start playing that kind of tournament, especially on this course. It’s not the easiest to walk. A lot of steep hills. It’s pretty long for the girls. It ends up being a long day.”

Jordan Buechler led the Rangers with a season-best 102, and Amie Weyer followed with a 104. Kaylyn Gaesser scored a 122, Brie Englert followed close behind with a 129 and Rachel Metz finished with 130. The experience at Muni is crucial for a Forest Park team that will return to the course in a few weeks for the sectional.

“You’ve got to tough through it and play,” Weyer said. “I didn’t shoot my best, but I’ll try better next time. Hopefully I’ve have a great round at sectionals.”

For Southridge, Taylor Seufert paced the Raiders with a 108, followed by Chloe Huff and Paige Snyder, who scored 140 and 141, respectively.

“Muni is a very difficult course,” Southridge coach Phil Olinger said. “I was pretty proud of the whole team. They handled it very well.”

Other notable scores for Jasper included Sarah Ackerman at 92, Madeline Hurst with 96 and Catherine Bell, who shot an 84 on the Jasper White team. The Wildcats will travel to Vincennes this Saturday for the Rivet Invitational and another 18 holes of golf. For now, Milligan is happy with the team’s performance, but that doesn’t mean he is satisfied. He recognizes room to improve, especially with the postseason rapidly approaching.

“Right now we’ve still got to work on some things,” Milligan said. “We’ll get there, but right now I don’t think the girls understand where we’ve got to be. We’ve got to start pounding away on the back nine to get better, to be where we got to be, to win the sectional and to get ready to do a lot more stuff when it comes to tournament time.”

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