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As a sophomore two years ago, Oldham County’s Meghan Theiss experienced what it was like to play on the final day of the Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA state golf tournament at the Bowling Green Country Club.
That year, Theiss finished tied for seventh with a two-day score of 162.
She missed the state tournament last year, but this year she played with the final foursome on the final day, Saturday. Theiss shot a two-day total of 152 to finish fourth. Caldwell County senior Emma Talley defended her state championship with a two-day total of 138. She won as a freshman as well.
“I would say the most important part was staying focused and not letting bad shots or bad holes effect me,” Theiss said. “I was just trying to keep my whole game under control.”
Staying under control while playing with the likes of Talley might have been Theiss’ most impressive feat. A crowd of roughly 250 followed the final foursome around on the final day, which also included junior runner-up Lydia Gumm from North Hardin and junior third place finisher Jackie Van Meter from South Warren.
“Going into it, I wasn’t sure how I’d react,” Theiss said. “I’d never been in that pressure group. It definitely can affect you when you’ve got a player who’s knocking down putts left and right and the crowd’s behind her. I just felt like I handled it well.”
Theiss surely handled the nerves better than Oldham County coach Jennifer Willard. Willard kept both she and Theiss calm with a few pep talks.
“She just played her own game and she took one shot at a time and one hole in a time,” Willard said. “That’s what we talked about and what we focused on.”
Theiss especially shot well on the tournament’s first day Friday, with a three-under 75. But both days presented challenges, with fast greens and an unfamiliar Bermuda grass on the course.
“My chipping was very good, but during my practice round, I practiced hard on it and before both rounds I spent a good 10-20 minutes just chipping out of that stuff because it’s just really tough,” Theiss said. “It definitely paid off in both rounds.”
Theiss’ high school career is over, but she plans on getting back to a big stage. She plans on playing in amateur junior tournaments in the spring and in college, though she hasn’t decided on a college just yet.
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