Sarah Kinser has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
The Munster senior has spent the last three years on the golf course playing behind former Mustangs standout Kamryn Klawitter, but now, she's finally getting her chance to take the reins as the team leader.
However, the time spent playing behind Klawitter was extremely beneficial for Kinser's development as a golfer.
"She just taught me how you play," Kinser said. "We still talk all the time. I always ask her for pointers in my putting and short game. We're pretty close and I know I can always go to her for help."
Although Kinser was the No. 2 golfer on last season's Munster squad, she showed flashes of what it takes to be the No. 1, including shooting an 87 at last season's Northwest Crossroads Conference meet at Sandy Pines in DeMotte, earning medalist honors.
"I was really proud of that -- it was just a really good round of golf," she said. "I felt amazing, it was just such a confidence builder for me."
Kinser has dropped almost 20 strokes off her average 18-hole round from when she was a freshman, the result of tireless dedication to improving her game. This summer, Kinser took vacations to Ireland and California, but still made time to practice her game even while she was away from home.
"She's really athletic," Munster coach Bill Smitka said. "She's refined her swing and she spends a lot of time hitting the golf ball. She's not a big girl by any stretch of the imagination, but she hits the ball a long way, just because she makes a really athletic move with the ball. I'm really excited for her senior year this year."
Though Kinser can hit for power off her drives, her short game is her biggest downfall. That's what she's been concentrating on lately, and Smitka has seen significant improvement.
"I think that's the evolution with all golfers," he said. "What you really try to improve is the short game. Because she's hitting the ball better, she's going to hit more greens this year.
"She's got the mental part down, she's got the confidence down, she's handling herself like a senior, and in terms of scoring, I think Kamryn was a nice model for her (with the short game)."
Last season, Munster finished third at the Bishop Noll Sectional and advanced to the LaPorte Regional, where the Mustangs placed seventh. Kinser wants to take that success further.
"I really want to make it to state as an individual," she said. "I know that's a really high goal, and I'll have to work for it."