The fall sports season commenced early Wednesday morning in Jackson County at the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood Golf Course.
The golfers faced the 18-hole tournament with just four days of practices under their belts.
However, girls golf coaches Brandon Allman of Brownstown Central and Seymour’s RaeAnn Wintin saw improvements by several strokes in their team’s scores compared to the event a year ago.
Bedford North Lawrence easily won the tournament by scoring a 338, followed by Floyd Central at 352.
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The Braves were third scoring 385, the Owls fourth at 399 and North Harrison and Shawe Memorial (Madison) rounded-out the team scores with 405 and 519.
Neither the Braves nor Owls broke 400 in the tournament last year.
Emma Zabor led the Braves by scoring an 82, which placed her fourth medalist.
Low for Seymour were Bridget Marshall at 95, followed by Hannah Thompson’s 96.
“I was very surprised,” Zabor said of her score. “I was hitting about everything well. I think what really got me was playing with the better competition and feeling that I needed to play better.”
Zabor, who played the No. 1 position for the Braves, said she enjoyed playing with other top players from Seymour, Floyd and Bedford North Lawrence.
“If the girls you are playing with (par), you want to be even with them, if not better because you always want to be better than the person you are playing with,” Zabor said.
She shot 39-43 for her 82, which is a tournament career-low for the junior.
Allman said he was satisfied with the team score, “considering a couple of the girls only had two practices in and the other girls had four practices in. Our girls didn’t play much over the summer. I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to. I think our girls are going to get a lot better.
“Emma’s 82 was her career-best by 10 shots. She tripled the 10th hole, which was her third-to-last hole. She was a little upset that she did that. She is coming off an ACL injury. She just got released a couple weeks before golf season started.”
Second lowest for the Braves was Shelby Stuckwisch with a 105.
“Shelby was hitting the ball really well,” Allman said. “She had a couple bad breaks. That 105 is her best score ever. She just started playing last year, so she is starting to get the hang of it and is playing a lot better.”
Rounding-out the BC scores were KaCee Collins at 111, Breonna Bottorff at 113 and Reagan Campbell’s 117.
For the Owls, Marshall said the highlight of her round was getting a birdie on No. 11.
“(Marshall) was quite a bit higher in practice last week so some improved quite a bit,” Wintin said.
“I think 95 is pretty good for anybody. That is the lowest opening score I’ve seen. This is only my second year of coaching. That’s a good way to start the season having two girls under 100.
“My goal was to be better than last year. I think were in the 500s in our first couple of invitationals last year, and to be under 400 is a great way to start the season.”
This year’s Owls roster is much different than 2015’s.
“We had some different people come out this year. We have a couple freshmen that are going to help us,” Wintin said. “I told my girls last week it’s going to be competitive on our team this year. Our lineup is going to change, which is good.”
Other varsity scores for the Owls were Andrea Axsom at 101, Maddie Wisler’s 107 and Bailey Goben card of 111.
“They can’t be complacent and be satisfied, they have to constantly be working to improve their score and support each other,” Wintin said. “I saw everybody do different things well. Bridget said she hit her drives well. I saw some really good chips out there. I saw some one and two putts, which is good. I saw good stuff across the board.”
Seymour and Brownstown will try to improve their scores Friday at Otis Park.
“They need to be more consistent,” Wintin said. “Bedford is a challenging course, and that’s our sectional. I’m glad we’ll be there early in the season to get a feel for it. Otis is very hilly, it’s different from our course. I’d like to see us do well close to the green.”
Otis Park also will serve as a challenge for the Braves.
“Bedford is a different kind of course,” Allman said. “I’ve got to have the girls understand that they’re going to have to land the ball in front of the green because the golf course is hard groundwise over there, and they’re going to have to hit a lot of shots short and let it roll on.
“We’re going to work on a lot of chipping (today); the greens are really small over there.”