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BOYS GOLF: Fast start, expected finish for Stars

Zak Cummings

BNL senior Zak Cummings watches his tee shot sail away during Friday’s IHSAA sectional. Cummings carded a 75 on the Indiana University Course.

No.15 BNL advances

to regional with 2nd

place in sectional at IU

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

BLOOMINGTON – They blasted from the gate, perhaps forgetting golf is an 18-hole test of character and resolve. After nine holes, after hammering away like woodpeckers (the birdies of choice on the tree-lined Indiana University Course), No.15 Bedford North Lawrence had the lead, and No.4 Bloomington South was uncomfortable in that trailing position.

Alas, it did not last. The Stars stumbled, the Panthers pounced, and everything ended as expected during the IHSAA sectional on Friday morning.

South kept its composure and form on the back side while the Stars slipped back. The Panthers, powered by the two best scores in the 12-team field, posted a team total of 294 to conquer BNL by 10 strokes. Nothing was really lost, except a trophy, as the top three teams advanced to the regional at Champions Pointe.

The quick getaway was impressive. The Stars combined for three birdies on the first hole, totaled 10 birdies as a fivesome on the outward nine, and posted a terrific score of 148 at the turn, one shot ahead of the Panthers. That pace was not maintained as BNL finished with 304.

Daylen Tidd carded four birdies but also had two triple-bogeys during his round of 74.

Daylen Tidd carded four birdies but also had two triple-bogeys during his round of 74.

“I would have taken that and let everyone play it out,” BNL coach Mike Wright said. “South played like champions with a very impressive back nine. Our guys? No complaints.

“It would have been nice to have won it. We gave South a run. I’m not sure we gave them a scare at the end, but they’re deserving. You can’t play defense. You take what you can do and move on. I’m an idiot if I’m not happy.”

BNL had moments, some incredible (Zak Cummings birdied two of the first four holes, Daylen Tidd had three birdies on the front), some frown worthy (Tidd had two triple-bogeys, Cummings 3-putted five times). When it all shook out, Tidd carded a 3-over 74 while Cummings posted 75, a number matched by Ethan Stanley.

Now they had a choice: dwell on the elation of the good or the frustration of the bad. They choose to look ahead, to the regional and its challenges. They went home with what they came for, a spot in that field.

“It gives us another week to try to get to the state meet, which is our ultimate goal,” Cummings said.

Ethan Stanley rips an iron shot. Stanley birdied the final hole to shoot 75.

Ethan Stanley rips an iron shot. Stanley birdied the final hole to shoot 75.

The only one to play better on the back was Stanley, and he had tree trouble on that side. Balls rattling off timber – with that unmistakable and depressing crack – was a common sound. Stanley battled past that and birdied the final hole to cap his day.

Tidd heard that noise a couple of times when he suffered big numbers on the second and 10th holes. Other than that, other than course management and mistake minimalizing, he was mentally tough all day on a course he enjoys.

“If you hit your driver straight, you’re going to get rewarded,” he said. “I hit the ball really well. I just had two holes where I sprayed my drives, and after that I played dumb. I knew I had to stay with it and put some good numbers on the scoreboard.”

If Cummings could hire a designated putter, he might be unstoppable. He was either dead on (birdies on holes 1, 3 and 15) or just dead (four 3-putts on the back nine). “These greens, I couldn’t figure them out,” he sighed.

Blake Martin and Koby Robb completed the scoring with 80s.

South’s stars came from lower in its lineup. Nick Burris and Quinn Pizzo carded 72s, with Burris winning the intrasquad playoff for medalist. Seymour’s Brady Marshall (77) was one of three individuals (who were not members of advancing teams) to qualify for the regional, along with Brownstown’s Seth Berry (78) and North’s Adam Baker (79). Brown County was third in the team race with 329.

The regional will be a tough test, with so many ranked teams and so few spots for the state finals at stake. The Stars carded a strong number during their last visit to that venue and would take that again.

“They’ve done everything to improve all season long,” Wright said. “Hopefully we’ve got one more week to improve.”

The regional is set for Thursday, with the top three teams in the field of 18 qualifying for the state finals at Prairie View Golf Club on June 14-15.

BLOOMINGTON SECTIONAL

Team scores

Blooomington South 294, Bedford NL 304, Brown County 329, Brownstown 335, Bloomington North 337, Salem 346, Trinity Lutheran 348, Seymour 349, Mitchell 366, Edgewood 369, Crothersville 462, West Washington 472

Individual scores

South: Joe Weiler 75, Tanner Shapiro 75, Nick Burris 72, Quinn Pizzo 72, Brett Knorr 83

BNL: Zak Cummings 75, Ethan Stanley 75, Daylen Tidd 74, Blake Martin 80, Koby Robb 80

Brown County: Aubrey Seaman 77, Parker VanNess 78, Jake Dixon 86, Gavin Brown 88, Wesley Weigal 117

North: Sam Wise 85, Luke Domer 85, Adam Baker 79, Trey Wilson 88, Evan Todd 91

Brownstown: Hunter Browning 84, Seth Berry 78, Jackson Wagner 81, Lute Lahrman 92, Brayton Hattabaugh 98

Crothersville: Tyler Luedeman 81, Will Amick 120, Zane Elliott 98, Jacob James 153

Edgewood: Caleb Meeks 101, Jackson Wendel 92, Austin Langley 84, Mitchell Hupp 103, Jacob Hupp 92

Mitchell: Austin Pemberton 89, Peyton Morris 93, Clay Evers 88, Cole Brewer 96, Jacob Slaten 108

Salem: Devon Wynn 99, Nick Noel 81, Kade Roach 84, Kaegen Magner 120, Isaiah Weill 82

Seymour: Brady Marshall 77, Keaton Simpson 82, Tyler Bullard 81, Noah Beaty 109, Dusty Wetzel 120

Trinity Lutheran: Skylar Stahl 87, Cory Stuckwisch 82, Chad Stuckwisch 90, Jonathan Keith 89, Jacob Keith 94

West Washington: Zach Rowland 102, Kamden Zink 102, Lane Nice 128, Josh Huls 140, Max Strother 182