Erica Shepherd, Greenwood, captured the 66th
Indiana Girls State Junior Championship, at Twin Lakes GC, giving her back-to-back titles. Shepherd, a rising sophomore at Center Grove High School, began the final round of the 54-hole event with a one-shot lead over three others, which was the final margin of victory over defending IHSAA State Champion Alexis Miestowski, Schererville.
“I stayed mentally strong today and I didn’t give up,” Shepherd said. “My putter was off all week, but I didn’t let it affect my attitude and I felt like I was able to come back a little bit.”
Shepherd held a three-shot lead after the 14th hole, but a birdie by Miestowski at the par-3 16th
, paired with a bogey by Shepherd cut the lead back to one.
“After putting poorly all day, I didn’t feel comfortable over a four-footer,” Shepherd said. “But I forced myself to refocus after making bogey and I figured that if I could play solid on the last two holes, that I could win the event.”
At the 18th
, Shepherd needed two putts to cap of a final round 75 and become the 12th
player to win multiple Indiana Girls State Junior Championships.
“It means a lot to win this event two years in a row,” Shepherd said. “There are a lot of really good players in Indiana right now so it is special.”
In addition to her win at the State Junior, Shepherd recently qualified for the 2016 US Women’s Open.
“These past couple of weeks have been very overwhelming,” Shepherd said. “It hit me a couple of days after I qualified. Everyone at the club has been coming up to me to congratulate me. It is really exciting to have this opportunity.”
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