Going to state: You fist pump, I fist pump
Pointing to his right, Timothy Wiseman waited patiently for his ball to break toward the hole. When it did, and before the bright white dimpled ball found its ultimate home, Wiseman didn’t bother watching it fall. He turned his head to the spectators lining the No. 10 hole at Champions Pointe Golf Club and raised his right arm to the air.
Wiseman knew he had the line and birdie, sending him to the state final.
He wasn’t the only one who advanced to represent the Panthers at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin. Teammate Mitchell Frederick earned a spot at the final as well.
Following Wiseman’s birdie putt on the first hole of a five-way playoff for four spots, Frederick gave his own pump of his fist.
‘I had a similar putt in our regular round,’ Wiseman said. ‘I had a pretty good read on it.’
His gesture was at the cup, making a par on the par-4, good enough to advance to the state meet which began play yesterday (Tuesday) and continues today. The remaining three golfers could only manage a bogey, sending them to another hole while Wiseman and Frederick celebrated with their throng of followers.
‘It’s awesome we are both going,’ Frederick said. ‘I tried to help him with the putt.’
Both hit the green in regulation after placing tee shots in the fairway on No. 10, setting up the grand finish.
‘On the tee, I knew he wasn’t going to lose and I wasn’t going to lose,’ Wiseman said. ‘I had no doubt about it.’
‘Timothy and Mitchell were determined they weren’t going to lose,’ Corydon Central coach Kevin Nash said. ‘They felt we should be going as a team and were not going to lose that playoff. Timothy, to make that putt, was great. Mitchell makes a putt that is no gimme, under that pressure to move on, was great.’
The dramatics of the playoff helped offset a rather somber Corydon Central team as a whole.
In a tremendously loaded regional field, where eight teams ranked in the top 20 reside, No. 8 Corydon Central was well in the hunt. They knew it, too.
One of the first teams finished, their team score of 304 was initially the best posted. When Columbus North listed 298 on the board, leading to a regional championship, along with Center Grove’s 301, Corydon Central knew one team spot remained.
The Panthers avenged a sectional loss to Floyd Central, as the Highlanders closed with a 312.
It was one of the final groups ‘ more than an hour after Corydon Central finished ‘ that ended the team hopes of the Panthers moving on. Bloomington South rallied with a well-played back nine to clip Corydon Central by one stroke, shooting a 303.
‘What an emotional day,’ Nash said. ‘Our goals at the beginning of the year were to win sectional and to make it to state as a team. We didn’t play well at sectional, but we gave ourself a shot here. To miss by one shot, I’d rather miss by four shots instead of one, mainly because I know how we finished the very last hole.’
On the Panther’s final hole (they began on hole No. 10), No. 9, they played it 6-over par as a team. Ryan Crawford had an electric finish to his round that included a birdie on the final hole. Brothers Timothy and Tommy Wiseman double bogeyed the hole, while Steven Coleman struggled with a triple. Frederick would par.
‘I know Timothy thinks he let the team down, but he didn’t,’ Nash said. ‘I’m trying to convey to him that there are so many things everyone on the team had happen during their rounds, too.’
‘The last hole will haunt me for the rest of my life because I let the rest of my team down,’ Timothy Wiseman said. ‘I know they wanted it just as bad as I did. I had it right in my hands and let it go. It’s going to hurt, but, again, at least we get to go.’
Frederick said he really wanted to go out as a team as well, especially for the lone senior ‘ Tommy ‘ on the five-man squad at regional.
‘It means a lot, getting us two out individually,’ Frederick said. ‘I would have liked to get the whole team out. I know Tommy, being his senior year, really wanted to go. We wanted to get him there.’
All four scores that counted toward the team total were in the 70s for the Panthers, not a bad day overall.
Frederick and Timothy Wiseman were among five golfers overall who had rounds of 1-over par 73. Both will be the first to represent Corydon Central at state since Brent Miller made an appearance in 1993. Then, he was the regional medalist, shooting a 68 at Seymour Elks and eventually earned All-State honors. Miller’s team that year also missed state by a single stroke. The last time Corydon Central made state as a team was in 1968.
Wiseman bogeyed his first hole but rallied to finish the Champions Pointe back-9 at 1-under par. He threw in birdies on back-to-back holes, No. 16 and 17. On the next nine, Wiseman put in birds on both par-5s (No. 3 and 5).
‘I battled,’ Wiseman said. ‘I could have hit the ball a little better. I was making putts and rolling in a few lengthy birdie putts to help me.’
Frederick had three birdies during his round. He really got going on his second nine. On the par-3 fourth hole, Frederick put in a birdie then followed it with another on the next hole, a par-5.
Frederick said he can take the experience of solid rounds in sectional and regional forward to the state meet.
‘This will prepare us,’ Frederick said. ‘There’s a lot of tough teams that have been out of this regional. We know guys from this regional have had success at state.’
Tommy Wiseman and Crawford finished up rounds with 7-over par 79s. Wiseman had an excellent shot, snugged in tight near the pin on the par-3 15th hole. He’d putt in the birdie. Going under par again, Wiseman had a bird on No. 5.
A big turnaround story, Crawford dredged through a rough first nine holes, scoring a 44. The same score wasn’t there on the next nine.
Getting his confidence going, Crawford tallied four birdies on holes No. 2 through No. 9. It was a variety of holes, too, that were kind to Crawford. He birdied a par-3 and a par-5 then two par-4s. He’d eventually play the back nine 1-under par.
‘For Ryan to come back was awesome,’ Nash said. ‘Most kids give up. I went up to him after the round and told him how proud I was of him.’
Playing in the No. 5 slot, Steven Coleman finished his day with an 82. He had one birdie, on No. 5.
Overall, the team score of 304 was an 11-stroke improvement from the same group of Corydon Central golfers from last season’s appearance.
‘We won several tournaments, won conference, set two school records, so it was a successful team season,’ Timothy Wiseman said. ‘It didn’t end the way we wanted. It sucks for Tommy. It was a very successful season overall.’
Tommy was one of the first to greet Timothy and Frederick after making putts on the playoff hole.
‘We counted eight teams that were ranked in the top 20 in this regional,’ Timothy said. ‘That is ridiculous. There is no other regional like this one for sure. We would like the team to get out, but at least we get two.’
‘If you take the state qualifiers last year from this regional, they finished two, three and four in the state,’ Nash said. ‘It speaks volume of the quality of players and teams that come here. If you come here and you get out, which is why we wanted it so bad, you earned it.’
The low medalist at the regional was Columbus North’s Christian Fairbanks, who carded a 3-under par 69. Center Grove’s Christopher Heck also went under par, scoring a 71.
Perry Meridian’s Nick Osterburg was third with an even par 72, while five golfers, including Timothy Wiseman and Frederick, were fourth with 73s.
Also advancing from the playoff among individuals were Heritage Hills’ Preston VanWinkle and Bedford North Lawrence’s Trey Turner.
Heritage Hills golfer Corey Teaford also shot a 73 but will be an alternate at state. It was assumed Osterburg would miss the state meet due to playing in another tournament.
In team standings, Mid-Southern Conference school Brownstown Central placed 18th with a 351, led by Lance Hackman’s 82. Among individuals ‘ Silver Creek’s Sam Garr (86), Borden’s Kamden Hurst (90), Henryville’s Luke Davidson (83) along with Scottsburg’s duo of Luke Taylor (83) and Christian Burch (93) ‘ also competed.
The state final, a two-day, two-round event played at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, is a 36-hole format. In first-round play yesterday (Tuesday), Wiseman posted an even-par score of 72 while Frederick shot 73. Co-leaders Dylan Meyer of Evansville Central and Michael VanDeventer of Columbus North carded 70s. The tournament continues today at 8 a.m.
Scores can be followed online at GolfStat.com.
Team standings: 1. Columbus North 298, 2. Center Grove 301, 3. Bloomington South 303, 4. Corydon Central 304, 5. Floyd Central 312, 6. Heritage Hills 315, 7. Perry Meridian 316, 8. Columbus East 318, 9. Madison 322, 10. Jasper 323, 11. Bedford North Lawrence 327, 12. Roncalli 328, 13. Providence 328, 14. South Spencer 335, 15. Greensburg 338, 16. Rising Sun 339, 17. Jennings County 349, 18. Brownstown Central 351.
Individual scoring (par 72): 1. Christian Fairbanks (CN) 69, 2. Christopher Heck (CG) 71, 3. Nick Osterburg (PM) 72, 4t. Timothy Wiseman (CC) 73, 4t. Mitchell Frederick (CC) 73, 4t. Preston VanWinkle (HH) 73, 4t. Trey Turner (BNL) 73, 4t. Corey Teaford (HH) 73.
Individuals advancing without a team: 1. N. Osterburg (PM), 2t. T. Wiseman (CC) 73*, 2t. M. Frederick (CC) 73*, 2t. P. VanWinkle (HH) 73*, 2t. T. Turner (BNL) 73*. Alternate ‘ C. Teaford (HH) 73*.
* Determined by playoff