CARMEL — Coming off her fifth bogey of the day, Mt. Vernon’s Charley True peered out onto the fairway at Prairie View Golf Club searching for that elusive birdie.
Through 17 holes on Friday, the freshman nearly caught a glimpse of a few, but a bad break here and an extra putt there foiled anything more than par — 13 to be exact.
Her expression, though, revealed nothing. Not a tense wrinkle of dismay nor a grin of satisfaction were divulged. Just stone focus and a desire to find the bottom of the cup during a chilly opening day at the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals.
“One thing I’ve learned from coaching kids is they’re never satisfied with par, they want to make birdies. It’s such a mental boost to get that first birdie,” Mt. Vernon head coach Caleb Zelecik said. “ She had a few chances. She was so close all day.”
The only freshman competing as an individual at state, True was hardly out of her league, keeping stride with the leaders despite her uncharacteristic results.
She finished the first round with a 78 at 6-over par. With three bogeys in the back nine where True teed off in the morning — starting on the 10th hole — she recorded seven pars to hold her position in the top 20.
While navigating against and with wind gusts of 26 mph, her midpoint score pushed her back within the top 50 momentarily, but another run of six straight pars before a bogey on the eighth hole (her 17th) crept her back into 19th position.
“It could have been better. There were a lot of missed shots and putts,” True self-evaluated after the round. “They should have went in.”
As a crafty veteran at Prairie View where she practices with the local golf pro in the offseason, True used her familiarity to her advantage. The wind, though, was a different matter.
“It was complicated. It kind of liked to switch directions some times. That was nice,” True said with a laugh.
It shifted on her on the first hole (her 10th of the round), leading to a double bogey. Her only major setback at her second home.
“(On the first hole) I didn’t realize how much into the wind it was and just got into the bunker and got into some trouble,” True said.
No harm, no foul, though, as the other scores continued to roll in (all over par) while she fired a clean drive on the ninth hole just prior to concluding her day.
Hitting into the bunker on the par-4 after her second shot sailed a little too far left, True’s score climbed to 15th.
Following a slick chip shot to put her in position for another easy putt and par, her placement surged into the top 10 where she remained — and looks to build upon in today’s finale.
“I’m probably going to forget about today, honestly, and just start over. Reset,” True said with a playful laugh. “Getting birdies is going to be a major goal for me (Friday).”
Charley True’s hole-by-hole results (Day 1)
at Prairie View Golf Club
To Par; +5;+5;+5;+5;+5;+5;+5;+6;+6;+3
To Par; E;+1;+1;+1;+2;+2;+2;+2;+3;+3;+6