With two weeks of practice behind them, 10 high school boys golf teams could finally take to the links for a live 18-hole tournament.
On Saturday, at Shadowood Golf Course, the Owls held their annual Seymour Invitational in cool, crisp conditions.
Led by overall medalist Jalen Hodges’ 3-over-par 75, No. 13 Bedford North Lawrence claimed the team title with a 314.
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No. 16 Columbus North finished runner-up with a 316, while Columbus East rounded out the top three with 327.
Bedford’s “B” team placed fourth with a 350, followed by No. 17 Jasper (357), Seymour and Bloomington North (360), Brownstown Central (388), Jennings County (402) and Batesville (404).
Juniors Keaton Simpson and Tyler Bullard led Seymour with cards of 79. Their scores put them in a five-way tie for fifth place individually.
Senior Noah Beaty scored 97 and freshman Tom Hoffmeier totaled 105 for the Owls.
“We weren’t sure where we were going to be. I’m really happy to be honest,” Owls coach Jim Hoffman said. “We ended up with a pretty good score at 360.
“Both our juniors threw 79s. It was a good outing for my freshman, and Noah Beaty was at 97. I think we have a lot of room to improve. I think if we keep improving, we’re in good shape. Now I’m really excited for the prospects.”
Hoffman said that hosting ranked teams helps Seymour have a better idea where they fit with the pack.
“When you have Bedford, North and East you want to know where you stand,” Hoffman said. “I think we’re not quite at that level yet, but we’re close. With a little work I think we can surprise some people, like we have the past couple years. You want competition — that’s what it’s all about. You want to play the best.”
Both the North and East coaches complimented the condition of Shadowood’s course, noting that it didn’t play factor in the final results.
“For this time of the year, the course was probably in better shape than in years past,” East coach Tom LaBarbera said. “Our mistakes had nothing to do with the weather or course.”
Brownstown Central coach Brandon Allman expected lower numbers in the team’s season opening invite.
“It was definitely a struggle for us out there,” Allman said. “I told another coach that I was hoping for around 365. I thought I would have three scores under 90, and I know some of our guys struggled a little bit.”
Junior Brayton Hattabaugh led the Braves with a 91.
Braves seniors Gavin Bane (96) and Chanler Fleetwood (101), who returned to the team this spring after stepping away last season, followed.
“Gavin has really high expectations on himself,” Allman said. “He wants to be in the 80s by the end of the year. As hard of a working kid he is, he’s not going to settle for anything less. Chanler is the same way. This is his first high school tournament where he shot above 90. I know he was also frustrated out there, but know for a fact he will get back down.”
Junior Michael Boshears carded a 100 and freshman Sam Huber shot 106 to complete the Braves’ day.
“I’m really pleased with Mike Boshears at 100,” Allman said. “I would bet he has the career best jump from year to year in this tournament: Last year he shot a 153.”
Like the other teams, Brownstown Central used the tournament to address areas that need improvement.
“We just need to work on a lot of consistency,” Allman said. “We have some guys that had several good holes in a row, but then threw up big numbers in a row. We need to work on a lot of ball striking and short game. Short game is something you lose when you haven’t been playing a ton of golf.”