Girls golf

South Central's Bailey hopes to advance to state girls golf finals

2010-09-21T22:00:00Z 2010-09-23T06:33:06Z South Central's Bailey hopes to advance to state girls golf finalsBy Jim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com; (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
September 21, 2010 10:00 pm  • 

Sydney Bailey isn't haunted by the past, but the South Central senior golfer hopes for better results in the present.

A year ago, she missed qualifying for the state golf finals by a single shot at the LaPorte Regional.

On Saturday afternoon, she returns to Beechwood Golf Course in hopes of writing a new chapter with an individual state berth.

"It was a tough year," said Bailey, who shot an 85 at last season's regional. "I just couldn't let it bother me. I've kept playing and hopefully things will be different."

The regular season was somewhat the same for Bailey, the lone girls golfer at South Central. Since she doesn't have a full team to play with, Bailey has had to compete intermittently for another prep season.

"I was still out on the course practicing," said Bailey, who is coached by her father, Scott. "I've been able to get a lot of work in."

When she did play this season, she's made an impression. On Aug. 9, she was second to Chesterton's Kelly Grassel with a 78 at the Kankakee Valley Invitational.

At the Pat Ford Invitational at Beechwood on Sept. 10, Bailey was sixth overall with an 83. She still wasn't too pleased with those results.

"I came in wanting to do my best today, and that obviously didn't happen," she said at the time. "I was pretty iffy driving the ball, and I wasn't hitting the greens."

Last Saturday, Bailey placed third overall with an 83 at the Valparaiso Sectional. She still finds ways to improve her game.

"I need to work on my putting," she said. "I was leaving my putts to the right and pushing them. I have to get that down."

Over four years, Bailey has made steady improvements. She missed the regional cut as a freshman (110) and sophomore (96) but made her initial trip to Beechwood with an 87 at last year's sectional.

At both the Pat Ford and the sectional, she surpassed her junior regional score.

Also, older brother Jacob missed qualifying for state three times, falling short by a shot as senior in 2008.

A berth Saturday would give Sydney both confidence in her skills and bragging rights at home.

"Everything else seems to be working pretty well," Bailey said. "I plan on practicing a lot this week to try to get everything right.

"Hopefully, I'll be on."

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