Crawford cards lowest at New Salisbury; NH fires 179
The last couple of years, the Crawford County boys’ golf team has gotten off to a good start by winning its own Early Bird tournament but then struggled through a large part of the season.
This year, the Wolfpack are taking a different approach, looking at each match individually as they go through the season. It may be paying off as Crawford County not only won the Early Bird again, but came out on top last Tuesday against West Washington, Perry Central and North Harrison, edging the second-place Senators by four strokes.
‘That (Early Bird) was a good win for us to get a little confidence,’ Crawford County coach Jeff Crecelius said. ‘Now, what we need to do is just get better as the year goes on.’
‘Notoriously, the last couple of years, I think we’ve probably went backwards instead of getting better,’ he said. ‘This year, it’s more about, ‘Let’s see if we can go from step one to step two and just keep progressing and getting better.’
Crawford County senior Tyler Wyman got the Wolfpack off to the start they needed with two birdies on his first two holes. Wyman finished the day with a 36 to win medalist honors, with West Washington’s Brady Millholland a stroke behind with a 37 for the nine holes.
‘It made me feel like I was at conference or something,’ Wyman said. ‘I was shaking once I got to that third hole.’
‘We had beautiful weather compared to what we’ve had recently,’ he said. ‘I felt really good. I was hitting the ball pretty well overall except for a couple of shots. I topped it a couple of times and stuff like that, but, overall, it was a really good day.’
Wyman had just 15 putts on the nine holes. The Crawford County senior said while he has been struggling with his driver, he has a backup club to go to that will more than make up the difference.
‘Normally, I have a lot more putts than that,’ he said. ‘That really helped me out.’
‘I wasn’t really as consistent with my driver as what I normally am,’ Wyman said. ‘If I wasn’t feeling comfortable with my driver on a hole, I’d hit a 3-iron. I’m always comfortable with my 3-iron. I hit it consistently between 240 and 250 (yards), and I always know it’s going straight.
‘I can hit it close enough on a par-4; I can use a 3-iron off the tee and still get there. It also puts me in range on most par-5’s. If I hit a good drive, I can be on (the green) in two.
‘My first five rounds, counting the front nine at the Providence Invitational, I’ve shot 43 all five rounds. Then, on the back nine, I shot a 46, which Saturday morning it was raining and cold and windy. So, it was hard to adapt to. Consistently 43 till today with a 36. Really, 43’s not that bad. I never want to get above 44 or 45. If I stayed there, I was content with that. I’d always want to do better, but I’m still OK with it.’
‘Tyler played well tonight,’ Crecelius said. ‘Tyler, you could sense it coming, and he finally put a round together. Austin (Key, who finished with a 41) didn’t play as well as what Austin is capable of, but I’m not worried about Austin. In this time of year, it’s more about getting the rounds in and getting to play. I’m not concerned about him.’
Crawford County’s Taylor Colin finished with a 42, and Ethan Ingle and Cody Knieriem finished with 44’s. Cameron Sillings shot a 49.
‘We’re mediocre, but we’re getting better,’ Crecelius said.
Behind West Washington’s Millholland, Cade Powers shot a 40 for the day. Alec Dones had the low score for the North Harrison Cougars with a 42, and Matt Vallandingham shot a 45 for the nine holes. Perry Central’s Brad Douglas finished with a 43, and Andrew Huber shot a 45.
Wyman said he hopes he can stay consistent with his play through the post-season with the conference and sectional matches.
‘I want to play really well at conference and in the sectional and, hopefully, make it out because we haven’t been able to make it out yet since I’ve been here,’ he said. ‘I’d like to win it like Ryan Griffith did two years ago.’
Crecelius said play at the Old English Golf Course has been limited to practicing due to last year’s severe drought conditions which caused severe damage to the greens. The Crawford County coach said his players are having to adjust to other courses that are in much better shape.