Girls Golf: Canal Winchester working hard to drive down scores

DAVE PURPURA
dpurpura@thisweeknews.com
Sophomore Sydney Dillon is among the top players for the Canal Winchester girls golf team, which played the first round of the four-round OCC-Central Division tournament Aug. 12 at Royal American.

Grace Beerman is confident that she has a grasp on what it takes to be a program's top golfer, as the sophomore is entering that role for the second consecutive year with the Canal Winchester girls team.

So when Beerman began the season Aug. 7 by shooting a 46 on the front nine during the Panther Invitational at Turnberry, she decided to shift her attitude and "go through the motions," as in trusting her instincts rather than overthinking.

The result was a 38 on the back nine and an 18-hole score of 84 that she and the Indians hope sets the tone for an improved season.

"On the front, I didn't play so hot so on the back, I was just trying to go through the motions and figure out how to hit," Beerman said. "I needed to work on my irons more just because I wasn't really consistent with all my clubs last year. I am shooting to be at least in the 80s every round. I want the worst rounds to be in the 90s."

Sophomore Sydney Dillon shot a 91 and the Indians got rounds of 111 from senior Anna Christy and junior Paige Wallace to record a team score of 397 and finish 21st of 27 teams as Mason won (307).

Senior Olivia Sims added a 113.

Christy and Dillon both were in the Indians' top five last season, and second-year coach Abbi Eft expects plenty of competition for every spot throughout the first few weeks, if not longer.

"With our third, fourth and fifth girls being (two) seniors and a junior, I really think they'll be pushing," Eft said. "I try to instill that healthy competition on the team. Everybody is working for a spot. We want the girls to be coachable and we want to bring the best team to every invitational and every match."

Eft said Beerman and Dillon's work ethic is the primary reason they began the year atop the lineup.

"They are both pretty focused. The fact that they're both sophomores and come out and play composed and do really well is huge," Eft said, adding both take private swing lessons. "They put in a lot of time in the offseason, a lot of nine- and 18-hole rounds. They play, play, play as much as they can. I talk to their swing coach and I know they don't miss sessions. They are very dedicated to improving their games."

Rounding out the roster are seniors Phoebe Micich and Sydney Stilwell. Stilwell is in her first year with the program.

Canal Winchester played the first round of the four-round OCC-Central Division tournament Aug. 12 at Royal American. The Indians went 1-19 in the league last year to finish sixth behind champion New Albany (20-0), which went on to win its second consecutive undefeated Division I state championship.

The second round is Wednesday, Aug. 19, at New Albany Links.

"We're super high (when it comes to) expectations. We're holding each other accountable," Beerman said. "We shot in the 400s a lot last year for 18 holes so we're trying to break that this year. We weren't regularly in the 300s last year so we're trying to be more consistent."

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

At a glance

*Coach: Abbi Eft, second season

*Top players: Grace Beerman, Anna Christy, Sydney Dillon, Paige Wallace and Olivia Sims

*Key losses: Erin Booher and Amanda Gleadle

*2019 OCC-Central standings: New Albany (20-0), Upper Arlington (16-4), Dublin Coffman (12-8), Marysville (8-12), Hilliard Davidson (3-17), Canal Winchester (1-19)

*2019 postseason: Seventh at sectional