Panthers trump 300, Bennett field
The Corydon Central boys’ golf team is in a groove.
Leaving no doubt, the Panthers broke 300 as a team for the first time this season, rolling to a 20-shot victory over a field of nine teams Saturday at the Bud Bennett Invitational played at Old Capital Golf Club.
To reach the 295 score the Panthers posted, they had huge efforts out of Mitchell Frederick and Timothy Wiseman. Both shot 1-under 71s.
‘We’re playing really well,’ Corydon Central coach Kevin Nash said. ‘I keep telling the guys that somebody always steps up. To have two guys shoot under par today is impressive. There were a couple outings this morning and a few guys said the pins were tough and the course was playing tough.’
Nash said the goal was to break the 300 mark. Mission accomplished.
Frederick and Wiseman were two strokes better than third-place finisher Kevin Crone of Providence. To determine the winner, Frederick and Wiseman stood atop the hill at No. 10 to begin a playoff.
Reaching the green in two, Frederick sank a putt for birdie and the win.
‘The playoff was fun,’ Frederick said. ‘We’ve been lifelong friends, so it was just like going out and playing golf the way we have all our lives.’
‘I’m glad he hit that birdie putt to make my mess look a little unnoticeable,’ Wiseman said.
Off the tee, Frederick’s ball found the fairway grass while Wiseman’s landed in the left-side bunker. Shooting over Little Indian Creek, Frederick’s ball landed just below the front pin placement, setting up the birdie opportunity.
Wiseman’s second shot was back of the green, but his chip toward the pin rolled from the back of the green toward the hole for a solid shot at a par save. He wouldn’t get an opportunity to putt due to Frederick sinking his attempt.
Action on the green had a bit of a delay when both players walked off each other’s putts to see which was farther away.
‘I told him I would go ahead and putt, but we walked it off anyway,’ Frederick said. ‘My feet are a little bit bigger, but it evened out.’
Wiseman said it was relaxed the entire hole.
‘We were chuckling the whole way down the hill, talking about how we played,’ Wiseman said. ‘I couldn’t be any more happy for him. I’m not mad. I would have liked to have won, but I’m just as happy for him winning.’
Wiseman has played well in his two previous appearances in the Bud Bennett, Corydon Central’s home meet. He won last season as a sophomore, plus took fourth as a freshman.
The field at the Bud Bennett was solid once again. Defending champion Floyd Central, ranked No. 13, placed third with a 323. Last season, the Highlanders eventually placed third at state.
Corydon Central entered the field ranked No. 9 in the state. Unranked Providence came up to place second, carding a combined 315. Heritage Hills (331) finished fourth, while No. 15 Jasper (334) was fifth.
‘I really feel that this is our year,’ Wiseman said. ‘That is a really low score for us and is the lowest we’ve shot for 18. Now that we see we can do it, hopefully it will happen a little more often.’
Frederick said his play near the pin led to a solid round.
‘I was good around the greens and with the irons,’ he said. ‘Putting is the best it has been in a long time. I’m finally knocking in birdie putts.’
Corydon Central’s Ryan Crawford was in contention for much of the day. He put in a solid effort, shooting a 2-over par 74. He began his round with a double bogey on No. 10 but rallied quickly to make three consecutive birdies.
At the start of the event, Nash said he wasn’t so sure it would be a great day. Tommy Wiseman was 6-over through six holes but, after a pep talk from his coach, came back to close out 1-over the rest of the way. He would close with a 79.
Steven Coleman had a rough start as well, shooting a 46 on the back nine (his first nine) but managed to shoot 39 on the other side to close with an 85.
‘My goal from the get-go was to break 300 and, realistically, we didn’t start real well,’ Nash said. ‘They don’t get rattled and stay focused.’
Now the focus is to keep the train rolling.
‘It was a great day,’ Wiseman said. ‘I’ll remember it for the rest of my life, especially under Bud’s name.’
‘We wanted to win and keep the momentum going,’ Nash said. ‘They are working hard in practice.’
Raided by prom night, Lanesville optioned out of the event, while North Harrison sent an abbreviated team. The Cougars placed eighth with a 453.
The best showing by the Cougars came from Jackson Shaffer. He finished his round with a 94, shooting a 46 on the front nine followed by a 48.
Also participating for North Harrison were Dylan Jerrell (115), Scotty Poole (121) and John Van Kleef (123).
The next big event for Corydon Central is participating in the Jasper Invitational on May 10. The Mid-Southern Conference Meet, featuring Corydon Central and North Harrison, will take place May 17 at Wooded View Golf Course in Clarksville.
Team results ‘ 1. Corydon Central 295, 2. Providence 315, 3. Floyd Central 323, 4. Heritage Hills 331, 5. Jasper 334, 6. Springs Valley 336, 7. New Albany 350, 8. North Harrison 453, 9. Clarksville (no team score).
Individual results ‘ 1. Mitchell Frederick* (CC) 71, 2. Timothy Wiseman (CC) 71, 3. Kevin Crone (P) 73, 4. Ryan Crawford (CC) 74, 5. Preston VanWinkle (HH) 75, 6. Conner Welch (FC) 77, 7. Jacob Bartley (J) 77.