Brutal. Rough. Challenging. Freezing.
Those were some of the words used by high school boys golf coaches and players to describe the weather conditions early Saturday morning at the start of the Wawasee Invitational at South Shore Golf Club.
Players began teeing off at 8 a.m. and according to Goshen coach Brent Randall were pulled off the course between 8:30 and 8:45 due to worsening weather conditions.
“A band of showers that included sleet moved through,” the coach said. “The course was the big winner today. Mother Nature was the main story.”
Play resumed around 10 a.m.
“The conditions were brutal this morning,” NorthWood coach Brad Duerksen said. “We were lucky it stopped raining.”
“It was freezing,” NorthWood junior Payton Grubbs said. “We had not yet started our round when play was suspended. We had only warmed up. I don’t think there was any advantage or disadvantage to that. We were still cold from being outside for practice before they stopped play.”
The NorthWood Panthers, considering the conditions, posted an excellent team score of 316 to finish as the runner-up behind the Warsaw Tigers (308) in the team standings.
“Our younger kids played well today,” Duerksen said. “The nice thing is they are playing better each time out. Our returning No.1 and No. 2 players were pretty solid in (juniors) Dylan Gessinger and Payton Grubbs, but I think were are surprising some people by the way the other three are playing. We threw out an 84 today and any time we can do that I’m happy.”
Northridge led by senior Logan McBride’s 38-40—78 placed fourth at 327 and Fairfield paced by junior Zach Hochstedler’s 37-38—75 finished fifth at 331.
The only individual score better than Hochstedler’s 75 was a 36-37—73 by Warsaw senior Tyler Ostrom (defending state champion).
The Goshen Redskins were ninth in the team standings with a 335. Senior Austin Shaffer carded a 37-39—76 to lead the Redskins.
“I’m proud of the way the kids battled the conditions,” Randall said.
“Every shot was a challenge. That’s what makes Austin’s score even more impressive. For him to stay focused for four hours under these conditions was pretty good.”
Shaffer had just teed off on the first hole when play was suspended.
“I tried to think about anything but golf,” said Shaffer about how he spent his time during the weather delay.
“When they told us we were going back out my first thought was do I really have to? The weather was challenging. It’s one of the top three worst conditions I’ve ever played in.
“The key for me today we getting off to a fast start. Most of my previous rounds this season have been slower starts. Another key was hitting nine greens in regulation so on half of the holes I was putting for birdies.”
Goshen was without one of its top players as sophomore Alex Hartsough missed the event due to an Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) contest.
Grubbs fired a 39-37—76 to tie Shaffer and Warsaw junior Jon Schram 38-38—76 for the third-best scores. The tie was broken using the backup scoring method. Grubbs was third in the final individual standings, Schram fourth and Shaffer fifth.
“Not getting into trouble was a key in my round,” Grubbs said.
“I put myself in places where I could score. In weather conditions like this the second shot is very important because you have to put the ball where you want it.”
One kind of unusual thing about the NorthWood team is that all five players only compete in golf.
“We have five players that love the game,” Grubbs said. “We are at the course every day and stay long after practice is over.
“(Junior) Ryan Thompson is a player that has really stepped up for us this season.”
“Having five players that their only sport is golf has never happened to me at NorthWood,” Duerksen said.
“They play all year. Often after practice they go out and play another nine holes when practice is over.”
Lakeland finished eighth in the team standings with a 335 led by junior Spencer Mortola’s 37-43—80.
“I’m pretty happy with the score we shot,” Lakeland coach Jon Roush said. “But we could have taken a couple more shots off the score. One of the players had two triples in the front so there are a few shots we could have eliminated. That could have put us right up there with Fairfield.”
Warsaw (308) — Tyler Ostrom 36-37—73, Jon Schram 38-38—76, Bennett Hollar 39-40—79, Tim Ahlersmeyer 40-40—80, Jonny Hollar 40-42—82.
NorthWood (316) — Payton Grubbs 39-37—76, Logan Kauffman 38-40—78, Dylan Gessinger 38-42—80, Brayden Glaser 42-40—82, Ryan Thompson 43-41—84.
Homestead (322) — Gunnar Smith 40-37—77, Kyle Davis 39-42—81, Grant Tagger 40-42—82, Chris Eigner 46-36—82, Savrabtt Sharma 45-42—87.
Northridge (327) — Logan McBride 38-40—78, Will Erekson 43-39—82, Rhett Holaway 40-43—83, Tom Morrison 43-41—84, Darren Kauffman 48-532—100.
Fairfield (331) — Zach Hochstedler 37-38—75, John Stack 39-42—81, Jordan Davidhizar 45-42—87, Jacob Fry 44-44—88, Rainer Brow 45-46—91.
Chesterton (333) — Austin Johnson 37-41—78, Brandon Martin 41-38—79, Evan Zonder 41-45—86, Jay Crots 45-45—90, Logan Krantz 46-46—92.
Plymouth (333) — Ben Schenk 40-38—78, Zach Craft 38-42—80, Nate Kolter 39-45—84, Patrick Felke 43-48—91, Lane Singleton 49-50—99.
Lakeland (335) — Spencer Mortola 37-43—80, Cody Richardson 40-42—82, Jordan Aldrich 39-44—83, Zac Paxson 46-44—90, Isaac Kilgore 47-43—90.
Goshen (353) — Austin Shaffer 37-39—76, Paul Johnson 44-44—88, Michael Chupp 45-48—93, Kenneth Shields 50-46—96, Joel Moyer 47-50—97.
Wawasee Gold (353) — Derek Zurcher 41-42—83, Dylan Cousins 45-41—86, Luke Jackson 46-47—93, Tristen Atwood 49-47—96, Maclain Herr 46-51—97.
Wawasee Green (365) — Zach Reiff 44-42—86, Jordan Melching 44-47—91, Mason Germonprez 49-43—92, Cole Love 49-47—96, Tyler Kissinger 46-51—97.
Whitko (370) — Danny Zawlocki 44-40—84, Josh Busenbark 44-45—89, Colton LeTourneau 45-48—93, Cole Bechtold 45-59—104, Robbie Hopkins 66-66—132.
Manchester (374) — Tyler Watson 40-39—79, Aaron Johnson 45-48—93, Austin Whitaker 50-51—101, Connor Eichenauer 48-53—101, Xzavier Whitaker 55-52—107.
Columbia City (376) — Dustin Parrett 44-42—86, Derek Philbee 41-46—87, Trent Murphy 46-52—98, Tanner Daniel 46-59—105, Max Dryer 49-59—108.
Elkhart Central (382) — Jeff Bradford 43-41—84, Sam Sheets 44-45—89, Alex Brosh 43-61—104, A.J. Johnson 54-60—104, Brett Morton 43-61—104.
Top Ten Individuals
1, Tyler Ostrom (Warsaw) 36-37—73; 2, Zach Hochstedler (Fairfield) 37-38—75; 3, Payton Grubbs (NorthWood) 39-37—76; 4, Jon Schram (Warsaw) 38-37—76; 5, Austin Shaffer (Goshen) 37-39—76; 6, Gunnar Smith (Homestead) 40-37—77; 7, Austin Johnson (Chesterton) 37-41—78; 8, Ben Schenk (Plymouth) 40-38—78; 9, Logan McBride (Northridge) 38-40—78; 10, Logan Kauffman (NorthWood) 38-40—78. (Note: Ties were broken using the backup scoring method).
Brutal conditions make for a challenging day at South Shore Golf Club
Brutal. Rough. Challenging. Freezing.
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