Thomas is the tops

Photo by Drew WhiteMichigan City junior Lia Thomas was the medalist at Wednesday's Crown Point Invitational, shooting an 18-hole career-best 76 at White Hawk Country Club.

CROWN POINT — Sometimes, boring is OK.

Take Lia Thomas' round of golf at Wednesday's Crown Point Invitational, for example.

The Michigan City junior had no birdies, but cranked out 14 pars and made just four bogeys.

"I don't know what it was, it was just fairways, greens and two putts," Thomas said. "Everything was really solid. At one point, it was almost boring."

If boring means a 76 and medalist honors every tournament at a course as challenging as White Hawk, then sign her up.

"Everything was very consistent, which is what I've been looking for," Thomas said. "I had a nice rhythm going there. I was just trying to not get ahead of myself. I was trying not to think about my score at all. I was just thinking about my next shot. This is the most consistent I've ever been. This is where I want to be. I hope I can keep it down here."

Thomas shaved five shots off her previous best high school round, an 81 at last year's regional at Battle Ground in Lafayette. Her only other sub-80 round came in 18 holes at the Municipal South Course with her dad. She shot in the high 80s at Whitehawk last year.

"I like it. I think the greens are difficult, but it has big fairways, lots of room," Thomas said. "I just tried to avoid big numbers. I was fine with bogeys. I was mainly playing safe. There were a lot of shots where I could have played riskier but I didn't want to risk it. There were a lot of birdie putts I missed, but I also had a lot of good par saves. I really didn't have any mis-hits, or if I did, it wasn't bad enough where I couldn't get up and down. A lot of my putts around the same range, 10 to 20 feet. I wouldn't try to go for birdie. Protect par was in my mind the whole day, and it worked. It was all about leaving the ball by the hole."

Delaney Adams of Crown Point was second, three shots back of Thomas with a 79 on her home layout.

"Lia's worked hard on her game," Wolves coach Drew White said. "Course conditions were tough. It was a tremendous effort on her part. With her performance at state, you can find where she was in relation to everybody in Northwest Indiana. She made her mark as one of the best players around here and she solidified that argument with this performance."

C.P. held serve as a team with a 334, taking three of the top five individual spots, followed by Lake Central (346) and M.C. (362).

"Crown Point and Lake Central are obviously the two teams we'll be chasing for the DAC title," White said. "We host one meet in conference and guess which two (teams) come to us. That'll definitely help being in a familiar setting when the time comes."

Taylor Skibinski shot an 89, one stroke better than Sara Poulin, while Caroline Kearney turned in a 107 for M.C.

"Taylor struggled, but I know she'll be back to being more Skibinski-like," White said. "That fourth position is obviously something we really need to find. Caroline has such a positive attitude. The most promising thing is there's still room for improvement, which I'm sure she will show the next several weeks."

Marquette posted a 458, led by Ann Peterson's 93 in her season debut.

"I was pretty encouraged by how we did," Blazers coach Bill Luegers said. "Ann had a great round for her first round of the season. Sandra Paholski (111) also played very solidly after a good round Monday. The others were higher than they would have liked, but like I told the girls, 'This is the most difficult course they'll play all season.' Their score was 36 shots better than last year's sectional. With it being their only second time out, you've got to be encouraged for the remainder of the season."

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