DEMOTTE | It really was Kelly Grassel’s day.
The talented Chesterton senior fired a 9-under 63 at Sandy Pines Golf Club on Monday at the Kankakee Valley Invitational, leading the Times No. 1 Trojans to the team title with a 309.
“I can’t really believe it, really,” Grassel said. “It’s like when you’re playing bad, nothing is going right. But when you’re playing so well, it’s the easiest game in the world.
“I felt really confident the whole time, and I was just really relaxed.”
Grassel, who was individual state champion last year, carded an eagle and two birdies on the front nine and followed it up with five birdies on the back on a near-perfect day for golf.
“I knew that I was going to be under par, but a couple of the putts that went in I was just thinking, ‘oh, my God.’” she said, having scored a 67 on the course a year ago.
Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt wasn’t surprised by the 63.
“She got a few breaks, chipped in on a few, but when you’re a good player, that’s going to happen some times,” he said. “She just put everything together.”
Grassel, a Michigan State recruit, was in one of the first groups to finish and her posted score on the board led to a lot of jaw dropping from coaches and players upon completion of the rounds.
“That’s awesome,” said Crown Point freshman Tiffany Curtis, who shot a 78. “She just blew everyone out of the water, and she deserved it. She works so hard for everything.”
It was a great day for the Trojans, who also picked up a 78 from Marissa Kroeger, an 80 from Nicole Dutz and an 88 by Taryn Trusty.
“Those are good scores. They all played well,” Hewitt said.
“It’s a good start to the season, and it’s great to be back with the team again,” said Grassel, who played in the PGA Junior Championships in Fort Wayne last week.
The Times No. 2 Valparaiso was runner-up with a 338, led by Harley Dubsky’s 77. No. 3 Crown Point was third with a 343 in the 21-team field.
“It was a battle all day today,” said Dubsky, who recovered with a 35 on the back nine. “We didn’t play too bad, pretty solid scores, especially this early in the season, too. This is a pretty tough course to come and play.”