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Girls golf state finals: Title ‘meant to be’ as Harley Dubsky hangs on

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Updated: November 7, 2013 6:56AM



FRANKLIN — Harley Dubsky was in tears walking off No. 18 at the Legends of Indiana Golf Course at the state finals.

She had done the unthinkable — made triple bogey with a three-stroke lead — after pulling her drive into the backyard of one of the homes that dot the left side of the fairway.

Dubsky, as it turned out, had built up enough equity in the first 35 holes to salvage her place in history. She brought the first-place trophy back to Northwest Indiana — the third straight title by an NWI polayer — when Mary Ellen Romero of Hamilton Southeastern made bogey on No.18, lipping out a slippery 8-foot putt that would’ve sent the two to a sudden-death playoff. Kelly Grassel of Chesterton won it in 2011 and 2012. Dubsky, the Mental Attitude Award winner, had rounds of 68 and 76.

It was a sweet, sweet turn of events for Dubsky, who was crying — this time tears of joy — on the putting green when she got the signal from her coach that she was the state champion.

“It’s her time, it’s her time,” Valparaiso coach Bill Miller said after it was official. “It was meant to be.”

It sure was. Dubsky was magnificient all year, aside from her last two holes, finishing 28-under par for the season. Despite making the seven on the final hole, she never contemplated clubbing down with an iron. Dubsky said she had no idea where she stood going into the hole. She always uses driver on No. 18.

“It’s not in my rule book,” she said of using an iron.

She was sure she had lost it on the final hole.

“No one wins with a triple on the last hole,” she said.

After a conversation with her swing coach, Mat Blair, Dubsky settled down and got ready for a playoff.

That was when the realization set in that she still had a chance. Conditions were brutal — wind and rain and inconsistent greens —and Romero was still only tied with her with three left. Romero made an up and down for par on No. 16 but she couldn’t save par on No. 18 after, leaving her approach about 25 yards short of the green.

In the end, it was Dubsky’s play on the first 34 holes that set her apart from the field. She was 4-under going into No. 17 when she made bogey after knocking her approach over the green. That lead turned out to be enough for her to do what everyone expected her to do: Win it.

“I did really well yesterday,” Dubsky said. “You can’t take that away from me.”

The round of the day came from Lake Central’s Kiana Jongsma. She shot a 1-over par 73. Jongsma finished 7 over par, which was good enough for 11th place.

Jongsma made two birdies and three bogeys.

The key for Jongsma, who was in tears after the round, was to stay focused down the stretch. She did that, making three straight pars to finish.

“I needed to keep myself calm and not blow up on the last few holes,” she said.

The future for the Indians, who finished 10th overall and one shot behind ninth-place Valparaiso, looks bright. They have three of their top four golfers returning. Jongsma graduates.

Chesterton, which finished 13th overall with a two-day total of 713, has the rosiest future on the three teams at state.

Four of the five Trojans players are either freshmen or sophomores. Only Taryn Trusty graduates. Freshman Cara Kroeger, who had rounds of 78 and 90, is the No. 1 golfer for the Trojans.

Jennifer Gough of Valparaiso helped the Vikings seal the top finish from Norhtwest Indiana with a round of 79. Gough finished tied for 33rd. Tiffany Curtis of Crown Point finished tied for 35th.



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