CARMEL — When Mt. Vernon freshman Charley True showed up to Old Oakland Golf Course the first day of practice, head coach Caleb Zelencik was unsure what to expect out of the talented, long-hitting freshman.
He knew little of her background. He knew little about her game. He just knew she could play.
True, who sharpened her game at amateur tournaments during the summer and takes lesson at Prairie View Golf Club (home of the state finals), entered the Marauders program with ample experience beyond her years, Zelencik said.
And after making the all-county and all-conference teams and winning medalist in the sectional, the Mt. Vernon rookie — or anything but — capped her season with an impressive showing at the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals this past weekend.
True didn’t just show up — she made a name for herself, carding a two-day score of 160, which was good enough for 11th place, just missing a top-10 finish.
After Day 1, True was tied for sixth with a 78, three strokes behind the leader. Unfortunately, an 82 on Saturday dropped her outside the lead pack.
Lake Central sophomore Alexis Miestowski took the individual title with a 145, posting a 3-under par 69 on Saturday. Evansville North repeated as the team champions with a team score of 651.
Nonetheless, it was a promising start to a highly-anticipated high school career for True. Of all freshman playing Saturday, she finished with the lowest score, nine strokes ahead of Zionsville’s Avery VonDielingen.
“That was probably the worst number (her Saturday score) that came out of that round,” True modestly said after the meet. “I am really excited that I made state and know that it took a lot to get here.
“But it was just like any other tournament. I didn’t categorize it as anything different.”
That type of attitude has led to her early success. And her love for the game will keep her going, striving to reach the top. She still has three seasons to get there.
Added Zelencik,”Certainly anytime you can extend your season and it ends on the last day of the state tournament, you’ve had a good year. For her coming as a freshman and competing the way she did, it’s just a really neat accomplishment for her.
“This sets the bar and gives her something to shoot for next year,” he continued. “It gives her something to expect the next time she gets here.”
After registering 13 pars on Friday, True fired seven pars on a cold, misty Saturday and even birdied the par-five seventh hole. Three straight bogeys to end her round made the difference, however.
Senior teammate Molly Yee was impressed with how True handled the miserable conditions (winds and rain). Her poise and familiarity with the course proved valuable.
“I think she played really well, especially because of the weather conditions,” Yee said. “The wind didn’t seem to bother her. She seemed very comfortable playing the course.”
If she plans on reaching that next level, though, both Zelencik and True know what it will take.
“I will definitely be working on my putter this offseason,” True said.
“I don’t think you can ever practice putting enough or too much,” Zelencik added. “Certainly I’d like to see her work on some of the longer putts. If she does that she could really start going low.”
She’ll get back to work soon enough, as Zelencik said True plans to play in tournaments the next two weekends.
“For her, the clubs are never put away,” he said.