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Thomas heading to regional

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By Larry Goffinet

JASPER - Tell City senior Amber Thomas shot a 94 in the IHSAA girls golf sectional Saturday to qualify for the regional.

The top three teams in the nine-team sectional and the top three individuals not on those teams advanced.

Tell City finished fifth with 477 strokes. But Thomas placed sixth overall and second among individuals not on the top three teams.

"She hit the ball very well," said Tell City Coach Jim Meek. "Had she putted better, she had a real shot at winning it outright.

"The first three holes she was on all those greens in regulation but three-putted for bogeys."

Thomas shot a 44 on the front nine and 50 on the back nine on the Jasper Municipal course.

She is the first Tell City girl to qualify for the regional since Brooke LaGrange did in 2000.

Other Tell City scorers were C.J. Fentress with a 125, Jessica Ballman 128, and Amber Fentress 130.

Stephanie Newton was the Marksmen's fifth player with a 153.

All the Marksmen shot better on the front nine except C.J. Fentress, who shot 64 on the front and 61 on the back.

"We beat Crawford County, Forest Park, Springs Valley and South Spencer," noted Meek. "With only one prior victory all year, I was really delighted with that.

"I think one thing that really contributed to that was no stroke limit (in the sectional)."

Most regular-season matches have a double-par or 10-stroke limit per hole to make sure they get over before dark. "I think that hurts us because most of our girls can negotiate their way around the course under the limit," said Meek.

Jasper won the team title with 365 strokes and had the individual champion, Allyson Horney, who shot a 15-over-par 86.

Besides Thomas, individuals advancing to the regional are Crawford County's Chelsea Benham, who shot 87, and Springs Valley's Stephanie Jones, 96.

The regional will be held Saturday at Evansville's Eagle Valley course. Tee times had not been announced at press time.

Team scores: Jasper 365, Southridge 407, Castle 428, Boonville 460, Tell City 477, Crawford County 481, Forest Park 484, Springs Valley 504, South Spencer 508