|Wed, Sep 03, 2014 03:09 AM
April 09, 2014 | 10:09 AM
Forget first-round jitters; it was more like first-round bitters.
When the Corydon Central and North Harrison boys' golf teams began their rounds at Champions Pointe Golf Club near Henryville on Saturday morning, temperatures were in the low 40s. Moisture on the course became a navigation hazard as well during play in the 18-hole Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational, hosted by New Albany.
Through the wind and tough playing conditions, Corydon Central came out on top, winning the 12-team event. As a team, the Panthers scored a 310, well ahead of second-place finishers Floyd Central and Madison who tied with a 322. North Harrison placed eighth with a 351.
Corydon Central's Ryan Crawford, top photo, sends a tee shot toward the green on the par-3 11th hole at Champions Pointe on Saturday. The junior finished second at the Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational. Photo by Brian Smith
"Very happy with the win to start out," Corydon Central coach Kevin Nash said. "To win by 12 shots is a lot against this field. I really wasn't expecting a 310 out of the guys to be honest."
The field was stacked. Four teams in the field — Floyd Central (No. 9), Madison (11), Bloomington South (14) and Providence (18) — were ranked in the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association's preseason poll. The Highlanders were coming off a third-place showing as a team at state last year but lost three to graduation.
"It was a good first tournament as far as competition goes," Corydon Central's Ryan Crawford said. "It was like a preview for regional even though there were some good potential regional teams that weren't here. It's always nice to play this course early and get a feel of things."
With Champions Pointe the regional destination down the road, Crawford had a solid day on Saturday. The junior finished tied for second among individuals, shooting a 1-over par 73.
"I wasn't expecting to shoot what I did," Crawford said. "I don't think some of our players were happy with what they shot, but an 81 was good enough to get the job done in these conditions. We'll all get better as the season goes on."
Timothy Wiseman had a solid day as well, carding a 3-over 75 to place fifth among individuals.
The field was not only filled with great teams, but also individuals. The medalist was Dylan Meyer (Evansville Central), who shot a 2-under par 70. He torched the front nine, going 3-under. Finishing tied with Crawford for second was Madison's Jordan Griffith.
At last year's state meet, Griffith placed sixth and Meyer was 36th, as individuals.
"Today, you know the competition is going to be here, and they dealt with the same conditions we did," Nash said. "They did the best they could and eliminated big numbers."
Also sneaking into the top 10 as an individual was North Harrison's Joseph Hinton. He placed eighth with a 7-over par 79.
"I hit the ball really well," Hinton said. "The course wasn't in the best condition, so there were some challenges."
Playing the soggy course, Crawford carded 13 pars overall. He managed a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole along with the par-4 14th to help reach his 73.
Crawford said the course played tough due to the weather conditions but also the playing conditions. The putting surfaces were recently aerated, leaving bumpy rolls. Outside of the greens, players could lift, clean and place their ball if shots landed in unplayable standing water.
"Chipping was really tough," Crawford said. "You'd hit a bump, and the ball would shoot forward or land soft. It was a guessing game with chipping. I got lucky and caught a few breaks."
Also making 13 pars was Timothy Wiseman. He had one birdie, on No. 8.
Carding rounds of 81 were Corydon Central's Tommy Wiseman and Steven Coleman. Mitchell Frederick had an 82.
Nash said the most impressive part of the group of returnees from last year's regional qualifying team is the expectations. All five made the trip to Champions Pointe for regional a year ago.
"They expect to play well. They are not happy when (they) shoot 80," Nash said. "Most of them, when they were freshmen or sophomores, if you gave them an 82, they'd take it. Tommy, Mitchell and Steven have shot in the 70s. Timothy and Ryan have shot in the 60s."
Those expectations were echoed by Crawford. He said the team expected to win.
"We weren't ranked in preseason, but I don't think we surprised anybody," he said. "We've been there in sectional and regional."
For North Harrison, Hinton led the way. He caught fire at times on the back nine, scoring birdies on holes 12 and 15 to reach his 79.
Having reached the regional in the past, the senior enjoyed the opportunity to play at this year's regional location.
"Coming here now puts the course in my mind," he said. "Anytime I can play the regional course, it give me a better idea of how to play it, what clubs to hit and how the greens are. I can't complain about a 79 on a day like today."
Following behind Hinton for the Cougars was Chase Spencer, a regional qualifier last season, with an 84. Spencer had five straight pars at one point during his round and also marked a deuce on the par-3 fourth hole.
Also for North Harrison, Austin Davis and Shawn Bishop had one birdie each during rounds to card an 93 and 95, respectively. Jack Phelps shot 132.
"It was a solid effort for the first tournament of the year," North Harrison coach Ross Schulz said. "A couple of the guys really struggled to finish or else we could have had a better team score. Joseph played well and he and Chase need to stay out front and lead the team with rounds in the 70s."
North Harrison will return to the links Saturday to play in the Wooded View Invitational, hosted by Clarksville. Up next for Corydon Central is hosting Clarksville, Silver Creek and Salem at Old Capital Golf Club on April 17. They'll also participate in a tournament at The Legends of Golf Club in Franklin, site of the state final, on April 19.
Team results – 1. Corydon Central 310, 2t. Floyd Central 322, 2t. Madison 322, 4. Bloomington South 325, 5. Providence 332, 6. Evansville Central 341, 7. F.J. Reitz 348, 8. North Harrison 351, 9. New Albany 352, 10. Jeffersonville 388, 11. Silver Creek 437, 12. Clarksville 531.
Individual results – 1. D. Meyer (EC) 70, 2t. R. Crawford (CC) 73, 2t. J. Griffith (M) 73, 4. C. Welch (FC) 74, 5. Ti. Wiseman (CC) 75, 6t. J. Weiler (BS) 77, 6t. E. Lamm (FC) 77.
Timothy Wiseman commits to Ball State
Although the start to his junior season began at the Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational, Corydon Central's Timothy Wiseman made a pledge to play collegiately at Ball State University.
The last two seasons, Wiseman has been part of Corydon Centrals trips to the regional level.
Last season, the Cardinals reached the NCAA Nationals by winning a playoff at the Pullman Regional. It was the first time Ball State qualified for Nationals since 1986.