Emma Zabor went from not playing competitive golf to leading Brownstown Central to back-to-back regional appearances.
She played her first 18-holes her sophomore season, and propelled herself to the top of the Braves’ lineup midway through that season.
Her game did nothing but improve from there.
In her senior season, Zabor delivered to the expectations.
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With all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Zabor the 2017 Jackson County Girls Golfer of the Year.
Brownstown coach Brandon Allman said there were high expectations going into the season.
“I expected (Zabor) to be our No. 1 golfer and the leader of our golf team,” he said. “Her and Shelby Stuckwisch thought they would be able to lead by example with their work ethic. I think that’s what some of our other girls needed: how to grow and compete.”
Zabor averaged 49 strokes on 9-holes and 96 in tournaments this past fall.
During the regular season, Zabor finished as a medalist five times.
At the Mid-Southern Conference, hosted by Shadowood Golf Course in Seymour, Zabor shot 98 to make the All-MSC team.
While Zabor wished she played better in the regular season, she felt she started playing at her best in the postseason.
“I think I was a little bit disappointed, but at the end of the year as we worked through all the things in practice, we got where we wanted to be,” Zabor said.
Zabor followed up by pacing the Braves to a runner-up finish in the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional.
The Braves combined for 377 strokes, topped by Zabor’s 88.
In the Washington Regional, the following week, the Braves finished 11th of 18 teams.
Zabor played her best golf on the opening nine, shooting 39 before finishing with a team-low 87.
“I played my best in the first nine holes of regional,” Zabor said. “Everything was kind of coming together like I had hoped. I was hitting the ball really well, straight. Putting was working. Everything was flowing.”
Allman said that Zabor’s demeanor set her apart from some of her competitors.
“She brought a competitive nature and drive,” he said. “I told myself, when I started coaching, I wanted to get girls to play quicker and be more competitive. I feel like Shelby and Emma helped our girls the most.”
Allman, who just completed his third season as the girls’ head, said that Zabor pushed the team to be better.
“It was huge for us to make it to regional two years in a row,” he said. “When I started coaching, I didn’t know if we’d be able to field a team or where we would be the next couple years. I never would of imagined that we would have teams at regional two years in a row. I think that speaks wonders about Emma, and her leadership and work ethic to the team.”
Zabor said that she’s entertaining the idea of playing college golf, and will join a team if it’s the right fit both academically and athletically.
At the season’s conclusion, Zabor was named to the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association’s Academic All-State Team. Zabor was one of 15 seniors in the state to receive the award.
Zabor said she will miss representing the Braves on the links.
“I really enjoyed playing with these girls,” she said. “I’m going to miss the friendships the most.”
2017 Jackson County Girls Golfer of the Year
Emma Zabor, Brownstown Central, senior
Other: Academic All-State, All-Mid-Southern Conference, led BC to runner-up sectional finish and regional appearance, BC MVP, 5x medalist.
Joining Zabor on the 2017 All-County Girls Golf Team:
Regan Campbell, Brownstown Central, senior
Other: All-MSC honorable mention, BC Most Improved Award.
Shelby Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central, senior
Other: All-MSC honorable mention, BC Mental Attitude Award.
Bridget Marshall, Seymour, sophomore
Other: SHS MVP, Hoosier Hills Conference honorable mention, helped team advance to regional.
Laken Waskom, Seymour, sophomore
Other: SHS Most Improved Award, helped team advance to regional.
Madeleine Wisler, Seymour, junior
Other: SHS Owl Award, helped team advance to regional.
Andrea Axsom, Seymour, senior