TRAVERSE CITY — After one week of practice, it’s showtime for the Traverse City Central and West golf teams.
Central will host the 30-team Lober Classic on Wednesday and Thursday at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The annual event is the traditional start to the fall prep sports season.
“We just started practice last Wednesday so it’s like boom, boom, boom,” Central coach Lois McManus said. “It’s not like the boys (season) where you can start and practice a month and a half before you play. This is fast and furious.”
The field includes Farmington Hills Mercy, which finished second in Division I last fall; Brighton, which placed fifth in Division I; and Grosse Ile, which tied for third in Division III.
The Trojans finished ninth in Division II.
Central returns five players, including two counters from the state meet — Amelia Pezzetti and Zoe Sobeck.
“Those two have a lot of experience,” McManus said. “I’m counting on them to be leaders. They’ve worked really hard on their games. They both joined a junior tour at Crystal Mountain (this year).”
Pezzetti is expected to slide into the No. 1 spot that was occupied by Courtney Dye, who is now at Indiana Tech.
“That’s the plan,” McManus said. “She’s (Pezzetti) going to be a powerhouse.”
West returns just one player from last season’s playing group. That one player, though, is junior Taylor Kehoe, the lone Titan to qualify for the state meet.
“Taylor usually shoots mid to low 80s,” West coach Kristen Nolan said. “Her goal this year is to break 80.”
Kehoe’s younger sister, Hunter, is expected to be the team’s No. 2 player. Hunter is a freshman.
Nolan has a 14 players on the roster, a dramatic increase from six a year ago. Although practice time has been limited, she thinks her team is ready.
“A lot of my girls played in tournaments through the summer with the Traverse City Junior Golf Association,” she said. “That helps.
“I think it could be difficult for those new girls who did not play (this summer) to jump into a tournament like this because it can be intimidating.”
“I think we’ll see several nervous golfers (Wednesday),” she said. “But, like I told them, after they hit that first shot they’ll be good to go.”
The tournament will be divided into two divisions.