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Johnson rolls in putts, joins Wiseman to regional

Johnson rolls in putts, joins Wiseman to regional
Johnson rolls in putts, joins Wiseman to regional
Corydon Central's Joey Wiseman hits a tee shot on No. 8 at the Providence Sectional Monday, held at Covered Bridge Golf Club. Below, at hole No. 2, Corydon Central's Ben Johnson nearly chips in for a birdie on the par-4. Photos by Brian Smith

Standing over his final putt on No. 9, Corydon Central’s Ben Johnson said he was nervous, set to drop a birdie putt on the par-five at the Providence Boys’ Golf Regional played Monday.
The putt, a mere foot away, came after a 177-yard approach shot stuck the green, setting up a birdie, closing a round of 76. The score, along with teammate Joey Wiseman’s 75 at Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, capped a regional-qualifying effort for the individuals.
‘I’m so happy with that round, it’s crazy,’ Johnson said.
Earlier in the season on the same course, Johnson shot a 111 during the Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational. As a sophomore, the now junior shot a 96 at sectional.
The lower score was capped by the approach on No. 9, his final hole. He had a conversation with Corydon Central coach Chase Best prior to teeing off on the last, letting his coach know he was sitting at 5-over par.
‘He asked, ‘This side?’,’ Johnson said. ‘I told him, no, overall. So, coach told me to get a par on the last hole.’
Johnson, like his round, exceeded those expectations.
‘I was still 177 away for my third shot, going into the wind,’ Johnson said. ‘I just wanted to hit the green and two putt. I hit it, and it was really clean. It started right of the hole and drew in. It was a foot away. I heard the applause, which is something I’ve never experienced before. It was a lot of fun.’
For Wiseman, he picked up pace and lowered his score as the round progressed. A regional qualifier as a freshman, Wiseman will get his second crack at a chance to reach the state tournament. The sophomore played his final 15 holes of sectional at 1-under par.
‘I started out double (bogey), par, double, so 4-over through three is not what I am looking for,’ Wiseman said. ‘The last 15, I played 1-under, so that’s solid. I still had a few birdie putts that lipped out or were just short. I was hitting it well and had good looks on every hole on the backside.’
Wiseman made the turn (starting on hole No. 10) with a birdie on No. 18. On holes No. 1 through 9, Wiseman made seven pars. He nearly drove the green on the shortened par-4 seventh hole, setting up a nice birdie.
‘It wasn’t much of a thought to go for the green because I was hitting driver where I wanted it,’ Wiseman said. ‘It was a good distance (about 265 yards). I had been hitting a cut all day, so I figured, if I missed, it would be straight and, if it cut, it would be perfect.’
Wiseman’s 3-over par round of 75 earned him third place overall. The winner, Jack Lilly of Floyd Central, shot 3-under par 69. Jay Williams of Jeffersonville was the runner up with a 71. Johnson took fourth.
Floyd Central won the team title with a 307, well ahead of regional team qualifiers New Albany (322) and Silver Creek (328). Corydon Central (353) was sixth, Crawford County (354) seventh, North Harrison (374) ninth, South Central (412) 10th and Lanesville (435) 11th.
‘(Johnson) had his ups and downs this year but really caught a hot streak toward the end of the year,’ Best said. ‘We’ve been expecting low 80s out of him, but a 76 showed he put it together. Joey has found a groove right now, and we are going to roll with it. His conference performance wasn’t what he wanted, but I think he more than made up for it today. The whole goal is to survive and advance. If you don’t win it individually, still advance because state is still our goal.’
Corydon Central also had scores turned in from Jarrett Alcorn (97), Austin Scott (105) and Cameron Buechele (116).
‘We finished with a 29-37 record, but we made some strides,’ Best said. ‘We need to strengthen up our No. 3 and 4 spots to hopefully be a team battling for the top three next year.’
For Johnson, he gets to play another tourney round.
‘I never would have dreamed of shooting 76, being one shot off from Joey,’ Johnson said. ‘I’ll give him crap for that, but I played great today. Putting was great.’
Wiseman said he still beat his teammate, but the two shared a conversation about regional some time after the Mid-Southern Conference meet.
‘He told me he would come watch me at regional and I said, ‘No; you will be playing’,’ Wiseman said. ‘He can definitely shoot 76-78, and he did. I still beat him, but it was awesome.’
The good ribbing goes beyond the play on the course or the score on the big board.
‘Last year, I picked my own outfit (for regional), but now we’ll have to collaborate,’ Wiseman said. ‘It’s a different aspect, but I look forward to going up and playing a few practice rounds with a teammate.’
Crawford County finished one stroke back of Corydon Central, shooting a 354. The Wolfpack were paced by Dayton Pinter’s 83 and Aaron Pearson’s 85. Also shooting for Crawford County were Dalton Pinter (92), Jordan Barrow (94) and Tyler Wiseman (99).
North Harrison combined to shoot a 374, with Christian Magee lowest of the bunch.
Magee and the Cougars began on the back nine, where Magee played his best nine. Carding pars on four of the nine holes, Magee played the backside at 5-over par 41 before closing his day with an 86.
Jason Schmidt and Ryan Dones had up-and-down days, shootings a 91 and 93, respectively. Parker Stone finished with a 104, while Scotty Poole was disqualified for not turning in a scorecard.
Four of Bryce Lewis’s first six holes featured pars, leading to a 2-over par start for the South Central sophomore. Lewis closed the day with a round of 85, including a birdie on the par-3 No. 17 hole, to lead South Central.
As a team, South Central shot a 412. Participants for the Rebels in addition to Lewis were Caden Cunningham (100), Logan Stewart (113), Harvey Basham (114) and Daniel Fischer (143).
Lanesville sent out four golfers, leading to a team score of 435. Shooting the lowest for the Eagles was Noah Winstead (98), followed by Kaleb Walker (108), Carson Kaake (113) and Brent Hardin (116).
The challenging and talent-filled Providence Regional, played at Champions Pointe Golf Club, will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 8 a.m. The top three teams along with five low individuals on non-advancing teams move on to the state final.

Team scores (Top 3 advance): 1. Floyd Central 307, 2. New Albany 322, 3. Silver Creek 328, 4. Providence 332, 5. Jeffersonville 332, 6. Corydon Central 353, 7. Crawford County 354, 8. Christian Academy of Indiana 374, 9. North Harrison 374, 10. South Central 412, 11. Lanesville 435, 12. Clarksville 566. (No team scores: Eastern Pekin, Borden).
Individual scores: 1. Jack Lilly (FC) 69, 2. Jay Williams (Jeff) 71, 3. Joey Wiseman (CoCent) 75, 4t. Ben Johnson (CoCent) 76, 4t. Adam Rutledge (FC) 76.
Individuals advancing without a team: 1. Jay Williams (Jeff) 71, 2. Joey Wiseman (CoCent) 75, 3. Ben Johnson (CoCent) 76.

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