COLUMBUS — With a solid opening round, Wilmington’s Lilly Middleton is tied for 16th in the OHSAA Division I Girls Golf Championship.
Middleton, the WHS senior, shot a 5-over par 75 Friday on Ohio State’s Gray Course.
Cara Heisterkamp of Rocky River Magnificat shot a 3-under and is the low individual after the first day of competition.
“We knew 75, 76 was going to be a good score,” WHS head coach Pat Black said. “Right where we wanted to be.”
There are two players at 5-over with six more at 4-over, so it’s a bunched field with Middleton just four shots off second place.
“I just want to shoot another good round, try to beat 75,” Middleton said of her goal for Saturday’s second round.
Maybe a top 20, top 10 finish is in the cards.
“I think that would be cool but I really just want to play good,” she said.
Middleton had one birdie (12), parred 12 holes, posted four bogies and one double bogey.
“My driver wasn’t the best,” she said. “I was able to get up and down a lot so that kind of made up for it.”
The double bogey came on 11 when one of the many large trees on the OSU layout came in to play.
But Middleton, the veteran golfer that she is, bounced back on 12. Black said the conversation after 11 was short and to the point.
“You’re playing well, just keep working,” Black said. “You’ll get that shot back.”
And she did on 12 with a birdie.
On 16, Middleton was faced with a similar shot to one of her playing partners, who hit a tree right before Middleton addressed her ball. Undaunted, the WHS right-hander put her next shot on the green and carded par.
“The girl before me hit the tree but I still stuck with my original plan,” she said.
Despite having been to the state tournament as a spectator in previous years, Middleton’s first trip to Columbus as a player was enjoyable.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “It’s organized. All the people walking around … I got used to it but it’s weird not seeing carts. Forty people (following our group) out her walking around was unusual.”