CARMEL — For the most part, Kristen Hobbs was just happy to be here. It can be hard to read the soft-spoken Lapel junior as she wrapped up her second round at the Indiana state girls golf meet Saturday, Sept. 30. What she did was show consistency, which resulted in a finish that exceeded her own expectations.
Hobbs shot an eight-over-par 80 for the second consecutive day to finish in a tie for 20th place at Prairie View, the best finish ever for a Lapel girls golfer.
Her round, which started on the back nine, included two birdies at holes 10 and 2 and consistent swings that showed off her long drive and iron accuracy.
“My irons were really solid,” Hobbs said. “My ball striking was always really good, my putting was really good yesterday, and when I needed my chipping, it was there. Everything just kind of worked together well.”
Lapel coach Molly Bays said Kristen’s performance at the state meet was outstanding overall.
“She hit it well and played awesome, except for just those two holes,” Bays said. “She (had) a four-putt, and I can’t believe that happened, then her short game on 18. Other than that, she struck the ball awesome and played really well. It stinks that golf can do that to you.”
Hobbs’ struggles Saturday came on holes that are normally her strength — the par-fives. On both the 13th and 18th holes, she appeared to be in position for a birdie, but that rare four-putt on 13 and a miss-hit on a chip on 18 spelled double-bogey and triple bogey instead.
But, to her credit, Hobbs did not let that affect her next nine holes. After a bogey on hole No. 1, she rebounded with a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 2, followed by six consecutive pars.
“She’s got great mental attitude and the ability to stay level-headed,” Bays said. “She did that yesterday and today. She could have let that ruin her round; she didn’t. One over on her last nine holes is a great way to finish.”
Hobbs said it was a matter of refocusing after the tough finish to her front nine on the 18th.
“I knew that I could regroup after taking a nine yesterday,” she said. “I knew there wasn’t much pressure because I was already here. I didn’t really have any goals, so I was just said that was over with and I needed to start a whole new nine.”
There were several highlights to Hobbs’ second round, including long birdie putts on 10 and 2, a par save on 17 — during which she had to hit out of both a fairway and a greenside bunker — and a brilliant 150-yard shot from a fairway bunker on the 11th to save a bogey, when a double- or a triple-bogey could have been possible.
But the bigger highlight for Hobbs was qualifying for state and enjoying the experience.
“Getting here is a big accomplishment in itself,” she said. “To shoot two 80s with a nine, an eight and a seven is a huge accomplishment. I didn’t really care what I was going to shoot, but it’s a great feeling to make it here, especially as a junior.”