Pancake has memorable few months 


The fact Annabelle Pancake played in her first golf tournament at age 3 isn’t as surprising when you know her family ties.

Her father, Tony Pancake, played golf at the University of Alabama and is Crooked Stick Golf Club’s head pro. Her mother, Libby Pancake, whose maiden name is Akers, golfed at Arizona State and is a member of the Indiana High School Golf Hall of Fame.

The past four months been impressive for Annabelle Pancake.

She won the Indiana Women’s State Amateur title in June, a title her mother won in 1985 and her aunt, Kelli Akers, won in 1990.

The Zionsville Community High School senior made her LPGA Tour debut in the Indy Women in Tech Championship at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Speedway Sept. 26-27.

“It was definitely cool to be in that environment with the pros and people really good and have done that for so long,” Pancake said. “I definitely learned a lot, and my dad and I had so much fun. I’m really thankful that the sponsor was able to give me that opportunity.”

Her father was her caddy.

“The bigger events, I like to have him caddy because he knows my game so well,” Pancake said.

Pancake shot 76 in each round, failing to make the cut. However, she wouldn’t have played, anyway, due to the high school regional. She did draw attention with her eagle on the 16th hole on the opening round. 

“I didn’t even see it go in,” Pancake said. “Christina Kim is the one who reacted. My dad turned to me and the first thing he said was, ‘You’re going to be on TV.’ I was like, ‘You are probably right.’ That was very cool and definitely a confidence booster for the last couple of holes. It was a great experience. It’s something I will never forget, for sure.”

Pancake, who has committed to Clemson, said she wants to see how she does in college before determining if she eventually wants to try to make it on the LPGA Tour.

“I know the coaches will prepare me to go on the tour if that’s what I want,” she said. 

Pancake led Zionsville to a regional title and placed first individually with a 64 Sept. 28 at Smock Golf Course.

The Eagles finished fourth in the state tournament at Prairie View Golf Club the following weekend. Pancake tied for third individually, her best state finish. She tied for fourth in 2018 and 2017 and was seventh in 2016.

The Eagles won the state title in 2017 and were second in 2018 and fourth in 2016.

During fall break, Pancake went to Dallas to practice with partner Melana Barrientos for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifier Oct. 22 in Kansas City.

“We shot even-par 70 and ended up getting first alternate,” Pancake said. “We had a lot of fun, and considering how we weren’t used to that cold weather quite yet, it wasn’t too bad.”

Barrientos, a junior from Plano (Texas) West, will also play at Clemson. Pancake and Barrientos became friends through Junior Golf.