Brady Marshall of Seymour and Brownstown Central’s Seth Berry refused to end their high school golfing careers at Indiana University’s links.
While the seniors’ teams didn’t advance in the postseason at Friday’s Bloomington North Sectional, Marshall and Berry each posted scores in the top three individually to punch tickets to next week’s regional.
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Marshall had the top score of players not on a regional qualifying team with a 77 (39-38) for 6-over par.
Berry finished one stroke behind Marshall at 78 (42-42), a personal best in a sectional.
Both players said they had a rocky day.
“Today’s round was a test from the get-go,” Marshall said. “I started on No. 1 by hitting a great drive; I then hit it in the bunker and left it there. I started with a bogey on arguably the easiest hole.
“It was a grind all day. It wasn’t a very enjoyable round. When I finished, I was glad that I stopped the bleeding. I hit my drives alright, my irons not very well and putted terrible — but guess what, I’m through.”
Berry also had ups and downs in his round, but maintained his composure to secure a regional spot.
“I hit the ball well off the tee for most of the day,” Berry said. “I only got into trouble off the tee once or twice. My short game was really solid from there. I didn’t do a great job hitting the ball on the greens, but I made a lot of up-and-downs that saved my score.
“It’s a really great thing to advance. I knew what it would take to get through. I had a good mindset. I didn’t want this to be my last match today. I was glad I got through, especially in my senior year.”
The two will play at the Providence Regional on Thursday at Champions Pointe in Henryville.
“It’s a course that has a lot of holes that you can birdie on,” Berry said. “It’s also a course where you can make big numbers on. I’m sure it will be fun. It’s a great course, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Berry said that he will need to finish one or two strokes over par to advance to the state competition.
His sophomore year, Berry played in the regional when the Braves advanced as a team.
“He’s going to have to play really well,” Braves coach Brandon Allman said. “We have one of the toughest regionals in the state. He’s going to have to keep the ball in play and hit it straight. With his length, he can make some birdies like he did today. If he can get the confidence rolling, he will be alright.”
Last week, Marshall shot a 75 at Champions Pointe in regular-season play.
He’s familiar with the course, and looks forward to the challenge.
“It seems like every time I play at Champions I’m around 75,” Marshall said. “A couple errors have kept me from 72. I shot 75 a week ago, and played the front side at three over. I have nothing left in the bag, it’s either I go to state or go home and that’s how I view it.”
In team scoring, Bloomington South won the 12-squad sectional with a 294.
South’s Nick Burris bested teammate Quinn Pizzo on a playoff hole for top medalist honors after both shot a 72 on 18 holes.
Bedford North Lawrence placed second at 304 and Brown County advanced for the first time to the regional as a team with 329.
Brownstown Central placed fifth with 335, Trinity Lutheran finished seventh at 348, Seymour’s 349 with eighth and Crothersville got 11th carding 462.
Take six strokes off Brownstown’s score and it would be going to the regional.
Berry led with 78, Hunter Browning scored 84, Jackson Wagner 81, Lute Lahrman 92 and Brayton Hattabaugh 98.
Wagner finished two strokes of tying the third and final regional individual spot.
“I felt my No. 2 and No. 3 were where they needed to be,” Allman said. “I just feel so bad for Lute. He said he just couldn’t find his swing after shooting a 41 on the back. Unfortunately that just happens.
“I’m a little disappointed in My No. 1. He had a rough start, then maintained composure before losing it again. There’s a learning curve.”
Lahrman and Wagner graduate from the Braves’ program.
Trinity’s Cory Stuckwisch had the lowest total on the day for his team at 82.
Chad Stuckwisch was next, totaling 90, Skyler Stahl 87, Jonathan Keith 89 and Jacob Keith 94.
“They had a tough day, overall,” Cougars coach Greg Personett said. “I think they expected more and it didn’t happen. They’re better players than they showed today. They’re beating themselves up but they shouldn’t. It’s just the way it goes. I think they put too much pressure on themselves.”
The Cougars will return every member of their team for the 2017 season.
“I’m tickled to death about (everyone returning),” Personett said. “These young men gave me a whole lot this year, and we have a lot of work still to be done. They worked hard this year. It was the easiest coaching job I’ve had, they did the work. Next year, I know that we will have a good team and I’m looking forward to it.”
Minus Marshall’s score, Seymour had a rough outing.
Keaton Simpson shot 82, Tyler Bullard 81, Noah Beaty 109 and Dusty Wetzel 120.
“We’ve preached it all year long,” Owls coach Jim Hoffman said. “The No. 4 and No. 5 would make the difference. We have a top-3 that compete with anybody. We need to have those guys compete, and that’s what killed us today.”
Wetzel will graduate from Seymour High School on Sunday.
Like Wagner, Crothersville senior Tyler Luedeman finished with an 81.
Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said he was pleased with Luedeman’s final round.
“Tyler had a really good today,” he said. “He shot today like he could all year. Two or three strokes and he would have gotten out to the regional — the first to do it. He missed six or seven birdies, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Other scores for the Tigers included Zane Elliott 98, Will Amick 120 and Jacob James 153.
The Tigers will return every player but Luedeman next season.
“We’re improving,” Kilgore said. “We have three freshman and a sophomore returning. We can do nothing but get better from here on out.”