Irons unkind to Wiseman in 1st state trip
To use a basketball analogy, sometimes the irons are unkind to a shooter.
The same can be said of the final round of golf at the Indiana High School Athletic Association boys’ golf state championships from Corydon Central’s Joey Wiseman last Wednesday, played at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
The two-day tournament saw Wiseman hold steady after the first round, played on Tuesday, to shoot a 77.
Turning around to Wednesday, playing another early morning tee time, Wiseman struggled from the fairway while his putter found a solid groove. The second day score of 81 left the sophomore with a two-day score of 14-over par, 158. Of the 100 participating golfers, Wiseman finished tied for 57th in his first state appearance.
‘Every day is a learning experience, especially on a golf course,’ Wiseman said. ‘I always learn at least one thing every round. Today, I learned quite a bit. There is a lot to learn from.’
Coming from arguably the toughest regional to qualify for the state tournament, Wiseman is aware of getting to state is an achievement. He turned in his best round as a high school golfer during the regional, earning medalist honors with a 67. A play-off win also went to Wiseman the week prior.
‘Next year, I left a ton of room for improvement,’ Wiseman said. ‘A 77-81 is not even close to what I am looking for. Hopefully next year, I can score much better. It’s still tough to get here. If I do get here again, I want to play well.’
The stout field at the regional to earn a spot at state was evident on the leader board at Prairie View. The top team spot was won by 13 strokes, sending the hardware home to Center Grove. As a team, the players combined to shoot a jaw-dropping 3-under par (292-281–573).
Of the six golfers to finish even par or better at state, five came from the Providence Regional. Noah Gilliard of Center Grove cleared the field with a 6-under par 66 on Wednesday, taking top honors with a 138 (6-under par). Perry Meridian’s Nick Osterburg placed second, two strokes back.
Players had to deal with a pair of weather delays on Tuesday. One lasted 70 minutes while another kept players off the course for nearly two hours.
Wiseman had to deal with both delays but managed to shoot a 5-over par 77.
‘(Tuesday) was the opposite of (Wednesday),’ Wiseman said. ‘I hit the ball well, but my putting was not very good. Today, I had about 26 putts while yesterday I had 36 putts. I hit 14 greens yesterday, so you are looking to shoot close to par.’
While it didn’t all come together for Wiseman on either day, he had some solid holes. Through the first five holes on Tuesday, Wiseman was holding at 1-over par. He pushed it back to even with a birdie on the par-3 sixth hole.
Making the turn at 2-over par, Wiseman ended a series of bogeys with his second birdie, coming on No. 16.
To end the day, Wiseman’s 77 put him in 46th place.
On Wednesday, Wiseman battled through finding his swing from the fairway to shoot 2-over on his front nine (starting on hole No. 10), including saving a bogey after going in the water on No. 12. At one point, Wiseman had seven straight pars.
‘On the back nine, my front nine, I chipped it really well and putted really well,’ he said. ‘I thought 38 was a solid score on that side. It’s the tougher nine than the front, even though my scores don’t reflect that.’
Hitting from the left fairway bunker on 17, Wiseman had a strong out play, reaching the green. His putt for birdie went just outside the cup, but he managed to hang on for par.
Similar strong chips on the front, including a soft touch on 18, set up pars.
‘It was a tough nine to come out with a 38. I was satisfied with it,’ Wiseman said.
The next nine, however, was a different story. As the heat and humidity kicked in, Wiseman finished with two pars over his final seven holes.
‘Coming to the back, everything seemed to struggle,’ he said. ‘My putting was all right, but my chipping went downhill. My irons weren’t there today.’
On No. 7, a long tee shot left an approach of about 225 yards to the green. Hitting a solid 3-wood, Wiseman landed in the bunker left of the green. A tough stance with the ball near the lip caused a mis-hit and a stroke.
‘I was in a good position but unlucky,’ he said.
Hole No. 8 saw Wiseman hit the green in regulation and execute a two-putt for par.
‘The swing wasn’t there today,’ Wiseman said. ‘The course is perfect. It’s in great shape. I think the course suits my game really well, actually. My execution was poor.’
First off the tee on Wednesday, Wiseman was part of the line foursome, playing with Plainfield’s Kasey Lilly, Crown Point’s Yianni Kostouros and Chesterton’s Mitch Davis.
‘The guys I played with were pretty good,’ Wiseman said. ‘They shot 71, 74, 75 in my group. It was a good group of guys. I think I’m at that level, but everybody has bad days I guess. I need to learn to limit mine. It could have easily been an 85 today, but I was able to keep it in check.’
Wiseman is slated to play in several golf tournaments during the summer. Proving a quick bounce back to form, Wiseman is among the leaders at the Indiana Amateur Championship. Play began Monday and runs through tomorrow (Thursday) at The Hawthorns Golf and Country Club in Fishers. Wiseman shot a 1-under par 71 on Monday backed by a 3-over par 75 yesterday.
Team scores: 1. Center Grove 573, 2. Carmel 586, 3. Westfield 594, 4. Noblesville 598, 5. Columbus North 608, 6. Zionsville 613, 7. Evansville North 614, 8. Bedford North Lawrence 616, 9. Park Tudor 622, 10. Fort Wayne Dwenger 623, 11. Homestead 624, 12t. Fishers 638, 12t. Castle 638, 14. Indianapolis Cathedral 647, 15. Fort Wayne Carroll 658.
Individual scores: 1. Noah Gillard (Center Grove) 72-66–138, 2. Nick Osterburg (Perry Meridian) 70-70–140, 3. Sam Jean (Center Grove) 77-66–143, 4t. Nels Surtani (Park Tudor) 72-72–144, 4t. Ethan Shepherd (Center Grove) 71-73–144, 4t. Matt Vorndran (Columbus North) 74-70–144.