CARMEL – The waiting was the hardest part. At that point, the rest was out of her control.
Macy Beeson finished her round Saturday afternoon as the leader of the IHSAA girls golf state finals at Carmel’s Prairie View Golf Club. But she didn’t know if it would hold. There were plenty of players with plenty of golf left to play. So she waited for two hours. She spent some time on the putting green, staying warm in case she had to compete in a playoff. She talked with her teammates, talked with her family, sat on her mom’s lap and willed time to go faster.
She didn’t keep tabs on what was happening on the course.
“If I keep track, it’s going to make me nervous,” the Lapel sophomore said.
When Carmel freshman Michaela Headlee birdied the 11th hole, it got her within one stroke of Beeson. She reached the 18th green needing a birdie to force a playoff. Beeson watched with her friends and family as a potential birdie putt missed. After plenty of hugs, Beeson bent over with her hands on her knees and breathed a sigh of relief.
She was a champion, finishing with a 2-over-par 146 for the 36-hole tournament. Evansville North won the team title — its fifth in seven years — besting Homestead and Carmel by three and 10 strokes, respectively.
There isn’t much Beeson hasn’t accomplished on the golf course. She started playing in tournaments when she was 8 years old. By the age of 10, she was competing against women two or three times her age in the Women’s Open and in the World Championship at Pinehurst, which her dad Ryan calls “the Masters of junior golf.” By 12, she was ranked 40th in the world.
During her freshman season with Lapel, she finished 13th in the state finals and was an All-State team member. This season, she was the medalist in the county tournament, sectional and regional.
At that point, there was just one thing left to do.
“She told me, ‘Dad, I’m going to win state,’” her dad said.
Beeson parred all but three holes on Friday, and a double-bogey on the 18th hole was the only thing that kept her from heading into Saturday as the leader. Her second round was a bit more inconsistent, with four birdies and four bogeys. But the end result was the second-best round of the day. Only Headlee’s 71 was better.
“I just try to play simple golf: Fairways, greens, and then one or two putts,” Beeson said. “I try not to put myself in my hard situations because then I’m just going to make bogeys and I’m not going to play well. I just play my game and just hope that it’s good enough.”
Safe to say that approach worked just fine. Lapel coach Dylan Crosley describes watching Beeson like “watching golf on TV. Every single shot, you know where it’s going to go.”
“She has the most confidence out of all the kids I’ve coached,” he said. “She just goes out there and tells you what she’s going to do, and you just agree with her and enjoy the moment.”
Granted, there’s plenty of work that contributes to Beeson’s success. She’s constantly practicing, whether it be on the green after a round or on the green in her family’s backyard. She works with Tom Patri, a well-known golf instructor in Florida.
“I just work for everything,” she said. “And my hard work is paying off.”
There’s more golf to be played, and soon. Next weekend, she’ll compete in another Indiana Golf Association tournament. Then it’s time for a family vacation to Orlando. Even then, she’ll undoubtedly find some time to play golf. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I texted her last night and told her, ‘‘You have no idea what your potential is for tomorrow,’” her mom Nikia said. “And she doesn’t. She’s a 15-year-old kid. But she loves the game. She lives, sleeps and breathes golf.”
Follow IndyStar high school sports insider Matthew VanTryon on Twitter @MVanTryon and email him story ideas at [email protected]
IHSAA GIRLS GOLF STATE FINALS
At Prairie View Golf Club, Carmel
Team scores: 1. Evansville North, +49; 2. Homestead, +52; 3. Carmel, +59; 4. Culver Academies, +72; 5. Westfield, +74; 6. Columbus North, +88; 7. Hamilton SE, +98; T8. Center Grove, +122; T8. Noblesville, +122.
Individual scores: 1. Macy Beeson, Lapel (+2); 2. Michaela Headlee, Carmel (+3); 3. Chloe Johnson, Evansville North (+4); 4. Reese Wilson, Culver Academies (+5); 5. Madison Dabagia, Homestead (+6); 6. Simone Senk, Homestead (+7); T7. Samantha Brown, Westfield (+10); T7. Destynie Sheridan, Evansville North (+10); 9. Katelyn Kuc, Carmel (+11); 10. Christina Pfefferkorn, Guerin Catholic (+12).