By Rob Kiser
MIAMISBURG — Directions won’t be a problem.
The Versailles girls golf team knows the path to the Gray Course at The Ohio State University well after earning its third straight berth to the Division II state golf tournament with a third-place finish at the D-II district tournament at Pipestone Golf Course.
“I felt like we were in good position (to go back to state), but you never know for sure how things are going to go,” Versailles coach Joe Harrmann said.
And the Tigers will see some familiar competition at state.
Chaminade-Julienne won with a 385 total, Alter was second with 396 and Versailles was third with 391.
“That is a credit to those teams and their golfers,” Harrmann said. “Actually, Alter was fourth last year, but it does seem like those are the teams that are always up there.”
After nine holes of play, Alter led with a 187 total. C-J was next at 195 and Versailles was third with 196. Wyoming was another seven shots back at 203.
“After nine holes, it was pretty close and Wyoming was still in the running,” Harrmann said. “We were playing with Wyoming (and Alter). You would like to think you know what your players are going to do.”
Lauren Durham led Versailles with a 91.
Morgan Heitkamp had 97 and Jorja Pothast had a 99, leaving Versailles three shots ahead of Wyoming with one score to come in.
“As I have said before, Lauren (Durham) is a steady eddie,” Harrmann said. “She doesn’t make mistakes. She doesn’t take big numbers. She just keeps grinding. A bad score from Lauren is better than most girls best score, which is a good thing.
“Jorja (Pothast) has really come on at the end of the year. Morgan (Heitkamp) has been real solid. All three of those girls have three years experience at state.”
When Anna Groff came in with a 104, it stretched Versailles lead to eighth shots and sealed the deal. Morgan Barlage added a 111.
“Anna (Groff) is a real solid player and she has three years experience at state as well,” Harmann said. “This is Morgan’s (Barlage) first year. She was an alternate at state last year. She has really helped us.”
Harmann feels like that experience is going to work to the Tigers advantage.
“We have been to state the last three years,” he said. “The girls are familiar with the course and familiar with the routine. We go over for the practice round (next) Thursday and the tournament is Friday and Saturday.”
The Lady Tigers have finished eighth the last two years.
“Of course, you would like to win a state championship,” Harmann said. “But, golf is different from other sports. You can’t defend against the other team. You can only control what you can do. We just want to go out and play our best.”
After surviving the challenge from Pipestone Wednesday.
“The course was playing really tough,” Harmman said. “A lot of pins were tucked. Last year, when we won, we shot 365 or 366. This year, the low score was 385, so the course was playing about 20 shots tougher.”
Now, it is on to the state tournament — a challenge that is nothing new for the Lady Tigers.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.