Michelle Smith of Fort Wayne will represent Indiana, beginning today, as three of the states best golfers try to bring home a national championship.
Smith, 38, and her teammates – 35-year-old Tobi Herron of Columbus and 57-year-old Nina Whalen of Indianapolis – will don blue and white today in Kettering, Ohio, as they chase the title at the USGAs Womens State Team Championship.
I think we have a pretty good shot of winning, Smith said. But anybody does – as long as they play well.
The Womens State Team Championship, which began in 1995, is held every two years and was played at Fort Waynes Sycamore Golf Club in 2009.
Its really a different atmosphere than other USGA events Ive been to, Smith said. (Sunday) night, I had the players reception and the captains bring the state flags. They announced all the people in the room, There are many Walker Cup players in the field. Its exciting to be here.
There will be three days of stroke play with the two lowest scores from each states three players counting each day. There are teams from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The tournament is at the South Course of NCR Country Club, a par-73, 6,153-yard course.
The course is very good. Its got some hills to it. Id say its an old-style country club with big trees and I think comparable to Orchard Ridge (in Fort Wayne), where its not real, real long but its got very difficult greens, Smith said.
Georgia has been the dominant team, winning three times (2005, 2009 and 2011), and Indiana has never won.
Smith won the 2012 Indiana Mid-Amateur Championship. Herron won that tournament in 2009, 2010 and this year. Whalen won the Indiana Senior Womens Championship the last two years.
Its going to be about the greens, Smith said. I think we have a pretty good shot. Were used to this style of grass and the greens are very fast.