While the Seymour boys golf team didn’t advance as a team from sectional competition, the Owls found a silver lining to their performance at Indiana University.
Owls freshman Keaton Simpson and junior Brady Marshall will both compete at the regional at Champions Pointe in Henryville next week as they both shot 77 Friday for the second and third individual slots.
The Owls finished fourth in team play totaling 324, three strokes behind Bloomington North, which grabbed the final team spot in the regional. Bloomington South took the sectional title, scoring 294; and Bedford North Lawrence was second with 313.
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Tyler Bullard scored next for the Owls with an 83. The Owls’ lone senior, Ethan Ashley, shot 87, while Noah Beaty totaled 106. Both were personal bests.
Both Marshall and Simpson will make their debut in regional play Thursday.
“I’m really excited,” Marshall said. “The first two years I played terrible in the sectional. I feel like I kind of redeemed myself this year. I just played a lot better today from an all-around standpoint.”
Marshall had an up-and-down start on the day. He birdied the first hole, double-bogeyed the second, birdied the third and bogeyed the fourth. The junior also scored a birdie on the seventh.
“It was kind of a crazy turn of events,” Marshall said. “After that (first few holes), I settled in. I hit the ball really well today from a driver and iron standpoint. The greens were slow, but I got it done.
“Coming in from times before, I wanted to just keep it in the short grass. It’s a tight course with lots of trees. My goal today was to stay on the fairways and attack the two par 5s when I got a chance.”
For Simpson, everything came together at the right time.
“My driving was awesome,” Simpson said. “I hit 12 out of 16 fairways, and that’s not how it’s been all year. I just felt comfortable, it was all in my head. Finally everything just clicked today, and I’m happy to just get out.”
Simpson birdied holes four and 12.
Last week, at the Providence Invitational at Champions Pointe, Marshall shot 75 and Simpson shot 77.
“I want to hit as many fairways as I can (in Henryville),” Simpson said. “If I’m going to miss the greens, miss short.”
First-year Owls coach Jim Hoffman was proud of his team’s performance and was pleased with play of his top two golfers.
“Brady leveled it out,” Hoffman said. “He started on a bit of a roller coaster. He’s been playing well lately, he’s doing everything better. His chipping and putting is getting better every day. He’s made a lot of progress in becoming a smart golfer.”
Simpson, who is in his first year playing with the varsity squad, has tremendous upside, Hoffman said.
“As far as hitting the ball and scoring, he’s doing a good job,” Hoffman said. “He’s young and has some things to learn, but he’s progressing. We’re working on some things. The nice thing for him is he’s going to keep progressing in the next three years.”
Hoffman has confidence in his golfers heading to Fuzzy Zoeller’s course for the regional.
“They should be in the 75-76 range,” Hoffman said. “If they can do that, I think they will have a shot of getting out again. I think that’s the score it’s going to take, and they can do it. They have the ability.”
Brownstown Central finished fifth in the sectional, scoring 336.
Senior Lance Hackman led the Braves with an 81, while Levi Sweeney, Seth Berry and Hunter Browning each carded 85. Jackson Wagner shot 93.
Jakeb Webber, Sweeney and Hackman graduate from the Braves’ program.
With a total of 344, Trinity Lutheran placed sixth.
“Overall, we played pretty decent,” Cougars coach Greg Personett said. “We had a really tough time on the front side. Once you don’t get that score starting off, it’s hard getting that back.
“It’s not what I was looking for, but they played pretty OK. It’s a tough course.”
Parker Criswell narrowly missed the regional cut shooting an 80, and Chad Stuckwisch finished at 81. Skyler Stahl finished with the next-best score for the Cougars. Cory Stuckwisch shot a 94, and Drew Royalty had 95.
Clayton Pottschmidt and Criswell both leave the Cougars’ program.
“They’ve been really easy to coach because they work on what they need to themselves,” Personett said. “They’re good role models and leaders for the team. That’s what’s most important to me as a coach.”
The Cougars finished with 23 victories over the course of the regular season.
“This is the easiest coaching job I’ve ever had. The entire team worked on what they needed to without me having to harp on them,” Personett said. “They did the work. As the season progressed, they kept doing it.”
Crothersville’s Tyler Luedeman carded an 82 to lead his three-man squad.
Parker Adams came in next for the Tigers at 103, and Conner Adams recorded 123.