CHESTERTON | As far as exits go, Kelly Grassel and Marissa Kroeger are making sure to leave a lasting impression before the Chesterton golfers finish their careers this fall.
The seniors were at the top of their game Monday afternoon as the Trojans held off Valparaiso at The Brassie to win the Duneland Athletic Conference meet by 17 strokes.
Grassel earned medalist honors after besting Valparaiso’s Harley Dubsky in a one-hole playoff. Grassel had the chance to avoid the playoff, but three-putted the 18th hole to finish with a 67. Kroeger’s 72 was an individual best at The Brassie and good for a third-place finish.
“Kelly and I were talking before we teed off that this was going to be the last DAC meet,” Kroeger said. “It’s a little sad, but kind of exciting at the same time.”
Kroeger didn’t even know if she’d be able to golf on Monday as late as last week. The Chesterton senior underwent knee surgery in June to fix a meniscus tear in her left knee. The surgery kept Kroeger sidelined for nine weeks and even then it was just chipping and putting before she could get back on a course for real. Kroeger shot a 78 at Shady Pines last week in her first 18-hole action of the year.
“Last week gave me the confidence that I could come out here and shoot low,” Kroeger said. “It’s reassuring that I can play a low round of golf.”
Grassel shook off the frustration of her final regulation hole in time for the playoff and then capitalized when Dubsky’s tee-shot went in the water. The Michigan State commit played conservative on the playoff hole to earn the medalist honors.
“I just wanted to make a par,” Grassel said. “I’m happy that I’ve been playing up to my potential this season.”
Dubsky was visibly emotional when she came off the course following the playoff hole, but the Valparaiso junior regained her composure within minutes and was laughing with Grassel prior to the awards ceremony.
“It’s done,” Dubsky said of her frustration. “When you play so well, it’s hard. It’s a playoff and somebody has to finish second. I’ve never pulled my drive into the water before. It’s something that I’ll learn from.”
Crown Point golfers Tiffany Curtis (78) and Alyssa Harvey (79) finished fourth and fifth respectively as the Bulldogs finished the team competition in third place.
“This is good competition here in the DAC,” Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt said. “It’s not an easy field to beat. This was a good victory.”