From staff reports
MIDLAND — Lois McManus saw it coming.
A day after her team had a “fantastic” practice round at Currie West, Traverse City Central went out and shot a season’s best 357 Thursday to finish second in the Division II golf regional here and qualify for next weekend’s state championships.
The 357 was 21 strokes better than Central’s previous best, a 378 recorded just 10 days ago at Cheboygan.
“I knew they were building and I was hoping today would be their explosion,” McManus said. “And they pretty much exploded. They were phenomenal.”
Midland won the regional with a 341. Mount Pleasant took third, grabbing the final qualifying spot in the 12-team field with a 379.
Junior Amelia Pezzetti led the Trojans, finishing second overall with a 4-over 76. She was even par through 16 holes. She trailed medalist Kharissa Carras of Midland Dow by just one stroke.
“She didn’t seem to care about that (medalist) too much because the team qualified,” McManus said. “She was outstanding today.”
Zoe Sobeck, the lone senior in Central’s playing group, fired a 90. Kate Trubac at 95 and Abbie Crick at 96 were the other two counters.
“They put it together today — and not just one of them, all of the them,” McManus said. “It was an unbelievable day. They came alive at the right time.”
McManus, making her 16th consecutive trip to the state finals, had a premonition of what was to come.
“The girls have been looking more and more comfortable,” she said. “I told them this is all going to jell for you. It’s just a matter of when.”
When turned out to be Thursday.
“I was watching them and after the third hole I predicted we would shot 360,” McManus said. “The girls were playing really well. I’m glad they shot less than I predicted.”
Petoskey fired a 415 to place eighth. Freshman Tai Miller led the way with an 88.
The Division II state finals will be next Friday and Saturday on Forest Akers East at Michigan State University.