Daily Reporter staff reports
Mackenzi Black is healthy, and it shows.
On Saturday, the New Palestine Dragons’ No. 1 golfer fired a 5-over par 77 to earn medalist honors during the New Castle Invitational and lead her team to a first-place finish.
The Dragons shot a 347, which was 16 strokes better than runner-up Lapel, at Westwood Golf Course to win their season opener. Shenandoah was third at 383 in the nine-team, 18-hole event.
“We had a great start to what should be a champion-type season,” New Palestine head coach Gregg Greene said. “The young girls played under control, and all of them bounced back after rough holes.”
Annalise Fox came in three strokes higher than Black with an 80 to take third overall.
Black shot a 40 on the front nine and trimmed her score to 37 on the back nine with consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th holes. The junior’s 77 was one swing better than Lapel’s Kristen Hobbs, who was second.
Fox recorded five birdies to carry a 38 through the front nine. Cassidy Harp contributed a 92, while Izzy Gray carded a 98 in her first career high school match.
Payton Hill finished the day with a 100 as all five Dragons players had at least one birdie. Last season, the program pulled the trifecta, winning the Hancock County Meet, Hoosier Heritage Conference Championships and sectional.
“Cassidy had an impressive back nine after struggling on the front,” Greene said. “Payton was draining 40-footers like they were 40 centimeters.”
The Dragons return to the links today against Greenwood at Hickory Stick in Johnson County. On Thursday, they host Noblesville at Hawk’s Tail in Greenfield before heading to the Lapel Invitational on Saturday at Edgewood Country Club in Anderson.