GREENWOOD – It had been a whirlwind couple of days for Zionsville senior Annabelle Pancake.
She had the opportunity to play in the LPGA Tour’s IWiT Championship on Thursday and Friday, shooting a two-day total of 152 against the top female golfers in the world.
Less than 24 hours after her second round at the IWiT ended, she was back on the course with her Zionsville teammates, playing in Saturday’s Roncalli Regional trying to earn the Eagles a fifth-straight appearance in the State Finals.
And if there was any fatigue, Pancake certainly didn’t show it, shooting a school record 8-under 64 to win medalist honors and help the Eagles to the team title with a 299.
“I was really relaxed and just had a lot of fun,” Pancake said after the round. “I played with some really good girls today and they kept me relaxed. I knew I had a good team behind me, and my teammates would play well, so I just went out and had fun.”
Pancake birdied 3, 4 and 5 to go to 3-under on her round, then added a birdie on the eighth to move to 4-under.
She started the back-nine with a birdie on 10, and after four-straight pars, she birdied the par-3 15th.
Pancake ended her day on a high note, making eagle on the 18th after sinking a 10-foot putt.
“The putts were falling a little bit more today,” Pancake said. “I was hitting the ball closer to the hole too, which helps obviously, but I was starting to drop a few more putts today.”
The 64 matched the lowest-ever round ever shot at a regional in state history.
Westfield’s Cailyn Henderson shot a 64 at Smock in 2016.
Zionsville head coach Steve Simmons said it was really impressive what Pancake was able to do after such a hectic week.
“She has played a lot of golf this week with very little rest, she’s trying to keep up with her school work, then to come out here and play like that is really, really good,” Simmons said. “My guess is she is a little tired and adrenaline got her through. It was just a tremendous round.”
It was the third regional title in school history for the Eagles, who also won the regional in 2013 and 2017.
The 299 was the best score the Eagles have shot at the regional. Simmons said the key was getting off to a good start, and the Eagles made the turn at 143, which is 1-under par as a team.
“Overall today was a really good day and we played pretty steady,” Simmons said. “We got off to a great start today and shot our best nine holes of the year with a 143. Other that a few mistakes here and there, it was a really solid round and that’s what we wanted.”
Senior Abby Thielbar was tied for second overall for the Eagles after a strong round of even par.
Thielbar got off to a great start in her round, getting back-to-back birdies on 4 and 5, then following up with one on 8 to move to 3-under.
She was still 2-under through 15, but bogeyed two of the last three holes.
“She has really been playing well the last couple of weeks,” Simmons said. “She shot 1-under here a couple weeks ago and that gave her a really good feeling about today. She played really, really well, putted well and it was a good round heading into the State Finals.”
Lauren Kaltenmark shot an 80 for the Eagles, and Megan Gray shot an 83 to be the final scoring Eagles.
Michelle O’Brien shot a 93 as the fifth golfer.
Zionsville will now play in the State Finals on Friday and Saturday. One of the regionals was pushed back to Monday due to weather, so pairings and tee times will be released after that round is over.
“It was a great round for all the girls heading into state,” Simmons said. “Megan Gray tied her personal best, which is great to see because Megan Gray has worked really, really hard this year to put herself in a position to play solid golf. She hit the ball a lot better a lot better than she scored today. I am happy for Megan and Michelle and the rest of the seniors get a chance to play in the State Finals.”