LAPORTE | Both Chesterton's Kelly Grassel and Valparaiso's Harley Dubsky carded under-par rounds at Friday's Pat Ford Invitational.
The duo's matching 1-under 73s were personal-best prep rounds at Beechwood Golf Course, but that didn't mean either thought their performances were really above-par.
"Overall, I was pretty consistent," said Grassel, who tied for runner-up medalist honors with Dubsky. "No mistakes, but there was nothing spectacular."
Dubsky fought off a cold, but that didn't mean she was ecstatic about her number.
"You always feel like you leave shots out there," Dubsky said. "My nose was stuffy and my neck was sore. I feel better now, because I'm going to be able to go home and go to bed."
Both players helped their teams finish in the top three at the event. Top-ranked Penn distanced the field with a 314, while the No. 17 Trojans were second (337) and the No. 11 Vikings third (349).
The Kingsmen's Kari Bellville won medalist honors with a 71.
Grassel, last year's medalist, was more impressed with the play of her teammates. Stephanie Drake and Nicole Dutz carded 87s, while Marissa Kroeger had a 90.
Grassel missed a few matches this week due to her participation in the American Junior Golf Association Championship. In one of those matches, the Trojans edged Valpo by a stroke.
"My team has shown that they can play without me," said Grassel, who was 52nd at the national event. "I think that gave them some confidence. It makes me feel like they are strong enough to hold us up."
Chesterton shaved 12 strokes off last year's Pat Ford performance, which impressed coach Dale Hewitt.
"Iv'e told people all along that we have a solid team," Hewitt said. "Our whole lineup is strong."
As for the Vikings, freshman Jennifer Gough carded an 82, and the team was 11 shots under last season's score.
"The girls stepped up," Dubsky said. "This is a good setup for us for regional."
Crown Point finished fourth at 366. Alyssa Harvey led the way with an 88. Coach John Haas also believes Friday's performance could pay postseason dividends in two weeks.
"I think we have a real smart group of girls," Haas said. "The mistakes they made today won't be made when we get back here for regional. They are students of the game. They constantly work at their game to make themselves better."