Girls golf preview

Chesterton's Grassel heads into final season as defending state champ

2012-07-28T23:30:00Z 2013-08-03T17:33:07Z Chesterton's Grassel heads into final season as defending state champMatt Douthett Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 28, 2012 11:30 pm  • 

Kelly Grassel couldn't have had a more successful individual season last year as a junior at Chesterton.

She finished second individually at last season's Valparaiso Sectional with a 73, also helping her team win the championship.

She was the medalist at the LaPorte Regional, firing a 71, and captured the individual state championship with a two-round score of 148. As a team, the Trojans finished sixth.

With that successful 2011 season, Grassel admits there is a little bit more pressure on her. However, pressure is something Grassel is used to as one of the best golfers in Indiana.

"There's a little pressure, because people have really high expectations," she said. "I don't really think about it. I'm just happy about my success last year, and I'm going try my best this year and whatever happens, happens."

Last season was the first time the Trojans made it past the first round of state as a team, so the experience of winning individually was even more special for Grassel.

"It was so nice to have my team there the second day with me," she said. "I think that was a factor into me winning. I was playing for them, too, because we were trying to get on the podium and take fourth. We almost did it. I wasn't just playing for an individual spot. I was playing for my team, and I wanted to win as an individual, too."

Grassel has been playing in tournaments all over the country in preparation for this season, and they've all been a challenge to her skills.

"I've been doing pretty well," said Grassel, who has personal bests of 67 on 18 holes and 34 on nine holes. "I've been playing in some tournaments on the national level. They're pretty difficult tournaments, and it's a lot harder setup than high school golf. They're all good preparation for the season."

No matter what happens this season, Grassel's golf career is far from over. She will continue playing at Michigan State University next year. While immensely talented already, Grassel knows she needs to improve some aspects of her game to continue her success at that level.

"College players hit the ball farther than I do, and they have a better short game," she said. "On these longer and more difficult courses, they're able to shoot low scores. The tournaments I've been playing lately are college level. If I'm able to shoot scores I do on high school courses that I do on longer and harder courses, then I'll be a good player in college."

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