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Zionsville’s Annabelle Pancake shines at British Women’s Amateur

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Zionsville native Annabelle Pancake’s golf game has flipped to another level. Her name is now known internationally — but it all started at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, where her dad, Tony, is the director of golf.

“I just learned to love golf, not like it was a chore, but like it was a fun game — like it should be,” Annabelle said. “When I realized I could get good if I worked hard, that’s when I really was motivated and started to enjoy it.”

Get good she did. Annabelle made her first trip to England for this year’s British Women’s Amateur, and quickly found herself playing for the championship.

“I had to beat like five or six golfers to get to the finals, and I love match play. That is my favorite form of golf. It’s just super fun and interesting, and it’s something different and a lot more competitive and exciting. You can be aggressive, and that’s how I like to play normally,” Pancake said. “I understood that I belonged there. I knew that I had good enough game, but also just realizing that the results are not in my hands. They’re in God’s hands. Instead of putting my faith in a number, I put my faith in God.”

Time wasn’t on Tony Pancake’s side. He was here at Crooked Stick’s Member-Guest event on Saturday, when his daughter Annabelle was playing in the British Amateur. However, nothing was stopping him from being there to see her play on Father’s Day.

“I was watching her play on the live stream. When she won that semifinal match, I thought… I’m getting a little emotional about it. I just had to be there,” Tony said. “I started doing the research. It was just a miracle how it all worked out. And the members here they helped us pay for the ticket. I was just really cool. Driving a stick shift on the wrong side of the road, it was a miracle I survived.”

His Father’s Day gift was seeing his daughter have a chance to win the biggest event in women’s amateur golf.

“I said, ‘Hey, I can’t wait to watch you!’” Tony said on a phone call Saturday night. “I love spending Father’s Day (with her) on the golf course. We’ve done it many times, and I just wanted her to play like we’ve done so many other times.”

“I’m so thankful,” Annabelle said. “The fact that I have a mom and dad, and brothers and sister, that love me so much to travel halfway across the world to watch me do what I love is such a blessing.”

Annabelle didn’t win the finals match, but came home to Indiana as the event’s first American runner-up in five years.

“I know how hard she’s worked on her game. I just know how difficult it is, and I’m just really proud of her,” Tony said. “Just a memory I’ll treasure forever.”

With many more memories still to come.