Cold, early start doesn’t detour focus
Upon sinking a birdie putt on hole No. 9, Corydon Central’s Joey Wiseman didn’t skip a beat as he hustled to the 10th tee box.
At the season-opening Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational on Saturday, Wiseman woke up ready to go and his play showed it. The birdie on the par-5 ninth was one of five on the day for the junior who went on to shoot an even par 72. The score was low among the field of 10 teams playing at Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, earning the first-place trophy.
‘It’s very exciting to win,’ Wiseman said. ‘I want to win everything. Everything I play in, I’m thinking win. It doesn’t matter if it’s a card game, but especially golf, something I am passionate about, I want to win.’
As a sophomore, Wiseman’s score of 74 tied for the lowest round, but a scorecard tiebreaker placed him second. Not far removed from putting up shots for the Panthers’ basketball team, Wiseman has shifted his focus to golf, a sport in which he won regional a year prior and qualified for state.
‘I’m in the early stages of golf,’ Wiseman said. ‘I’m hoping to come back here in a few months and shoot a little bit better come sectional. I started hitting late February, just before basketball sectional started. I wanted to get loose.’
Wiseman played in a pair of individual tournaments away from the school team in the previous weeks to help him prepare for the high school season.
‘Hopefully, this will propel me even more as the school season gets started,’ Wiseman said.
It was an early morning for Wiseman. With players set to tee off at 8:30 (but was delayed about 20 minutes due to frost), he went to his home course, Old Capital Golf Club, in the dark at 6:45 to warm-up.
‘I felt good there,’ Wiseman said. ‘I’ve done more stretching lately. I’ve been working out the last year to get a little bit stronger, but, with that, I need to be loose to help my flexibility. I got loose early this morning and tried to keep loose the entire day.’
The idea carried over as Wiseman played his first nine holes at 1-under par. Overall, quality ball striking all around led to carding birdies on all four of the par-5s along the saturated course.
Playing conditions at Covered Bridge didn’t allow much roll with the recent rain amounts, but the cool and sometimes windy elements prompted a mental challenge for some.
‘We counted it up and, unofficially, I hit two bad shots today,’ Wiseman said. ‘That’s obviously what I am looking for … perfection. Missing two shots is really close, so I am happy with that. The greens weren’t great, but it’s early in the year so I didn’t expect them to be perfect this time of year in Southern Indiana.’
Within the team standings, Corydon Central placed eighth with a score of 368. The top of the team leader board featured Floyd Central (316), Bloomington South (337) and Providence (341).
Individually, finishing one stroke behind Wiseman was Floyd Central’s Reece Compton with a 1-over par 73. Evansville Central’s Garrett Hoss (77) was third.
Corydon Central’s Ben Johnson marked eight pars on his scorecard, finishing his 18-hole round with a 91. Also representing the Panthers were Chris Carroll (98), Jake Fields (107) and Austin Scott (108).
Part of the North Harrison roster was off on spring break, thus leaving the Cougars with three golfers to send out on Saturday.
North Harrison’s Christian Magee had the lowest round of the team, carding a 96. His round featured a birdie on the par-3 12th hole.
Also hitting the links for North Harrison were Cole Fisher (109) and Cameron King (121).
Team scores: 1. Floyd Central 316, 2. Bloomington South 337, 3. Providence 341, 4. New Albany 341, 5. Evansville Reitz 354, 6. Madison 355, 7. Silver Creek 367, 8. Corydon Central 368 (No team scores ‘ Christian Academy of Indiana, North Harrison).
Individual scores: 1. Joey Wiseman (Corydon Central) 72, 2. Reece Compton (Floyd Central) 73, 3. Garrett Hoss (Evansville Central) 77.