Even though the foursome wore shirts of different colors, there was an air of good feeling Tuesday in the group.
Led by Kapaun Mount Carmel junior Katie Wells, smiles were large and frequent. But Wells probably had the biggest smile of all.
And why not? After blistering her front nine with a 1-under-par 35, she posted a 76 total — 11 strokes better than any other golfer, helping the Crusaders capture the City League girls golf title at Auburn Hills Golf Course.
Wells agreed that the foursome — which included Bishop Carroll's Carly Hill, Northwest's Lexi Clark and East's Kayla Steelsmith — helped make for a good time on the course.
"Everyone talks about Bishop Carroll being our rival, but they're so much fun to play with," Wells said. "They're a lot of fun."
Wells said it was tough to single anything out for her hot start.
"Everything just clicked," she said. "I started out well with a par, and that boosted my self-confidence, and everything just clicked — I made long putts that I normally don't make, long drives that were in the fairway."
When the group reached its first par-5 on the back nine, some shots fell prey to a creek and large plant growth. While one of the girls searched for her ball, Wells decided she could help out.
"I'll take your bag over here," she said, taking the golf bag out of the way. "I'll be your caddy."
Wells said she didn't have to worry about losing her concentration, so she could pitch in.
"When I'm relaxed, I do so much better," she said. "And when the girls I play with are fine and I enjoy it, and I just go out and have a good time — and my score obviously reflects that."
She capped her round with a 30-foot birdie putt at her second-to-last hole, a 288-yard par-4, and narrowly missed a putt that would have given her a birdie on her final hole, a 401-yard par-5.
The Crusaders , led by Katie Wells and Courtney Wells (no relation), held off a challenge from archrival Carroll and won the team title. Four Eagles shot scores in the 90s, but they came up seven strokes shy of Kapaun's winning 362 total. Leading Carroll was Lakin Ubert's 90.
It was Kapaun's fifth straight City League title, including a tie with Carroll last year.
"My front nine wasn't very good, but on the back nine, it all started coming together, my putts started dropping," said Courtney Wells, who shot 87. "I felt like my drives were a little more accurate."
Coach Dan Phillips has guided Kapaun to the last four titles, and he cited Katie Wells' confidence as a key to her round Tuesday.
"She was real hot," he said. "She kind of stumbled on the last hole of the front nine for her only bogey on the front nine, but she had been 2-under at that point. She had a real strong front nine, which gave her added confidence."
Carroll and Kapaun will meet again at Monday's Class 5A regional at the Winfield Country Club.
"I didn't expect anybody to shoot 76 today," Carroll coach Mark Berger said. "That was incredible.
"We had one 90 and two 91s, if we could have had one more, we might have had a chance. Once again, we were one score short of what we needed."
Northwest, led by Stacia Miller's 91, was third with 393.
At Auburn Hills Golf Course
1. Kapaun Mount Carmel, 362; 2. Bishop Carroll, 369; 3. Northwest, 393; 4. North, 411; 5. East, 426; 6. Heights, 572; 7. Southeast, 662.
1.Katie Wells, KMC, 41-35—76; 2. Courtney Wells, KMC, 41-46—87; 3. Lakin Ubert, BC, 45-45—90; 4. (tie) Carly Hill, BC, 42-49—91; 4. (tie) Maddie Walden, BC, 46-45—91; 4. (tie) Kayla Steelsmith, E, 45-46—91; 4. (tie) Margaret Ekeler, N, 46-45—91; 4. (tie) Stasia Miller, NW, 45-46—91; 9. Victoria Harmon, BC, 55-42—97; 10. (tie) Hannah Perkins, KMC, 51-47—98; 10. Maddie Bazzelle, NW, 50-48—98.