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Mattingly improves, but not to his liking

North Harrison sophomore Kyle Mattingly turned in a better effort than last year at Friday’s Seymour Regional golf tournament at the Seymour Elks Course, but it still wasn’t quite enough to please the youngster.
Nor was it enough to advance to this week’s state final.
Mattingly shot a 77 this time, or three strokes better than the 80 he turned in at the 2003 regional and 14 better than a round he played there last week on the Mountain Dew Tour.
It took a 70 to make the cut ‘ which he probably could have done, were it not for a few errant approach shots ‘ leaving Mattingly with a bitter taste.
‘My iron shots stunk. The only thing that kept me in the game was my putting and my chipping. Nerves had a lot to do with how I was playing,’ Mattingly said. ‘I hit that long putt on No. 5 and thought that would change the round a little bit, but it didn’t.’
With a few dozen people watching his first shot of the day at No. 1, Mattingly blasted it into the fairway of the No. 10 hole.
‘That first tee was pretty scary. I was just happy to get the ball in the air,’ the Cougar sophomore said.
His second shot was over the green, but a nice chip left Mattingly with an easy par putt.
Mattingly went on to bogey four holes on the front side, carding a 39 through nine. He only had three black marks on the back but never could get on a hot streak to trim his score.
‘Nerves had a lot to do with how I played,’ he said. ‘Next year I’m looking to make it out of sectional again and maybe I won’t be as nervous. I think I’ll do better.’
One of those making the cut for the state meet was Brownstown Central’s Chris Baker, who was paired with Mattingly.
Baker, who was the medalist using a scorecard playoff, is the state’s defending champion after firing a new two-round record of 135 (68-67) in 2003.
Mattingly said playing head-to-head against Baker ‘helped because I was playing against someone I knew, and I pretty much knew what I would have to shoot because he was going to be low. It helped having a goal there.’