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Pack tips North by one stroke at Early Bird

In a match that resembled the British Open, the Crawford County Wolfpack nosed the North Harrison Cougars by one stroke to win the Crawford County Early Bird Invitational, which brought 10 schools for their first major competition of the season.
Mother Nature rained on everybody’s parade ‘ literally ‘ bringing out the umbrellas and rain suits. For the players it meant adjusting clubs and swings and working to stay warm and loose. As a result, many early shots came up short.
‘You’ve had to adjust a lot,’ said North Harrison’s Kyle Mattingly. ‘In the rain your hands get slippery and you can’t swing as hard. Your distance might be short. With the high winds they shift all the time. You’ve got to play it by ear.’
North Harrison coach Jeff Huffman said his team will be competitive this year, with several players capable of playing in the number one position.
‘We’re about seven or eight deep this year and they’re really vying for spots,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be challenging. Our lineup could vary from match to match. Number one through number five could change. A lot of kids really worked at it last summer. I had a few kids play in a winter league.’
He explained: ‘Right now, Zach Davis is our number one and Kyle Mattingly is our number two. Mike Rigot is holding down the number three spot right now, and Cole Duffy has the number four spot. Bryan Stephens has the number five. I’ve got Ben Fouts, who was All-Conference last year, at number six, right now. Ryan Boone has played some pretty good golf, so we’re pretty set.’
Later in the morning, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear, but the wind picked up dramatically, with gusts of 30 mph or more pushing golf balls in different directions. Davis watched a birdie chip shot miss the hole by just two inches from 30 feet with two holes remaining.
‘I’ve been getting up and down,’ Davis said. ‘I’ve been hitting a lot of wedge shots, but I’ve been able to get my pars.’
Griffith finished with the best day, shooting a two-over 38 for the par-36 course. He said the key to playing in adverse conditions is staying focused.
‘It kind of pulled everybody out a little bit,’ Griffith said. ‘It was a tough day. You had to stay mentally tough early on. If you hang in there, you’re going to shoot a good score. When you play your own course you’ve got to defend the turf.’
Crawford’s other scoring included Adam Newton at 41, Chris Carr at 44, Brandon Curl at 47, for a total of 170. North Harrison carded a 171.
‘That’s what we’re expecting out of Tyler and Adam (Newton),’ said Crawford coach Bill Breeden. ‘Adam double-bogeyed numbers 10 and 12. Something happened. Kids don’t intentionally mess up. He parred in the last five holes. Tyler was at 38, and there was no other round below 40 and that tells you how well he played.’
Breeden said the first match always brings uncertainty, especially when it is cold and rainy.
‘I was really proud they were patient and let the game come to them,’ he said.
Perry Central’s Jess Foury finished second individually with a round of 40 for the day. North Harrison’s Davis also finished with a 41, while Mattingly finished in the team’s number four spot with a 44.
Lanesville finished in eighth place with a 198: Chris VanHoose shot a 45, Devon McCulloch carded a 46, Travis Hertel had a 48 and Jordan Rochner came home with a 49.
South Central shot a 229 for 11th place.
Craig Huffman shot a 54, Chris Parrish shot a 55, Clinton Scarbrough hit a 59 and Darin Pellman shot 61.
— Corydon Central’s golf team was seventh in the Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational over the weekend.
Alex Zimmerman shot an 88, Dustin Thomas fired an 89, Bruce Toler had a 90 and Matt Key penciled in a 98.
Floyd Central won the event, which was held at Covered Bridge Golf Club, which is a par-72 course in Sellersburg.