SCHERERVILLE | To say that Alexis Miestowski was consistent while winning the Round Barn Golf Club Girls Spring Invitational is not giving her enough credit.
Yeah, the Schererville 14-year-old followed up the Saturday 18-hole round of 82 with a Sunday round of 82, respectively finishing six and five shots ahead of the nearest competitor to win the tourney held April 26-27 at the Rochester course. But not all 82s are created equal.
"The 82 I shot on the second day was one of the best rounds I've ever played," Miestowski said. "The first day the weather was perfect. But then the next day was cold with 40-mile-per-hour winds.
"In those conditions, you have to make adjustments and play simple and safe golf."
Including runner-up Sarah Banister (11 shots behind), of Fort Wayne, the field Miestowski bested featured some of the top high school golfers in the state ... all except Miestowski, who was the lone eighth-grader.
Miestowski has a history of shooting well against older competition.
Last summer at the Indiana Golf Foundation Girls Team Championships, Miestowski and Kara Blair, of Rolling Prairie, had the distinction of being 13-year-olds leading all divisions up to 19-years-old after nine holes. The pair ended up finishing second in the 13-14 division after a prolonged delay along the back nine may have gotten them off their game.
The year before at the Girls Team Championships, Miestowski and Blair won the 12-and-under title
Blair, a freshman at Valparaiso, finished tied for fourth at the Spring Invitational. She was part of Miestowski's group, as well as Kinley Lingenfelter, of Rochester. All three girls are good friends.
"When you golf with your friends, that makes it so much easier," Miestowski said. "I get much less nervous and the rounds seem to go a lot faster.
"But even when I golf with strangers, I often become friends with them, too. I have a bubbly personality when I'm playing golf, but there are some golfers who rather keep to themselves. You've got to realize and respect that."
Miestowski is a member of the Junior PGA Golf League and plays on the Mountain Dew Tour. She has won numerous state tournaments, but considers the silver cup she won at the Spring Invitational as her crown achievement to date.
Miestowski started hitting a golf ball when she was 6 years old, and started playing competitively when she was 8. She has been taking golf lessons from Valparaiso University women's coach Mat Blair -- Kara's father -- for five years.
"He's work on my swing to where hitting the ball off the tee is what I do best," Miestowski said. "I still need to work on my short game, though it was pretty good (at Round Barn). I only three-putted once during the entire weekend."