CMA, Triton finish short of state berths
FORT WAYNE — Both teams were close, but neither Culver Military Academy nor Triton advanced in a competitive Homestead Golf Regional at Orchard Ridge Thursday.
Warsaw won the championship with a dominant 308, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger finished runner-up with a 322, and Northridge finished one stroke back as the third team to advance to the state finals, while CMA carded a 327 four strokes out of state contention, and Triton recorded a 331 in sixth and ninth place respectively at the meet.
Finishing out their individual seasons, meanwhile, were Culver Community’s Trent Elliott and Plymouth’s Nate Kolter and John Ruff.
John Connelly and Bailey Roubos led the Eagles with dual 79s, while Davis Payne shot an 84, and Logan Joseph carded an 85 for CMA on a day where dry greens played havoc with everyone’s round.
“It was a lot closer than I thought it would be. I never dreamed 323 would make it out, but the greens were so hard today,” said CMA head coach Fred Haase. “They were fast and they didn’t hold; putting was a challenge for everybody.”
“We played a good front,” he added. “We started on the back nine and shot 157. We struggled on the front nine. We came close. For kids that had never played in the regional before, I think they did a good job.”
CMA caps off a strong season at regional after missing the sectional cut out last season. It was an impressive mark for a team with just one senior in Roubos and with virtually no varsity experience returning from last year’s squad.
“Hopefully they learn from it. We’ve got four of the five back next year, so we’ll try to move on from there,” said Haase.
Triton was paced by Quentyn Carpenter’s 78, while senior Chandler Slone shot an 81, Tanner Shepherd carded an 85, and Ryan Rapp shot an 87 Thursday.
The Trojans, like much of the field, struggled to get up and down on the unusually hard greens at Orchard Ridge and finished eight strokes out of returning to state after the school’s lone team berth to the finals in 2009-10.
“The kids were very tentative, especially when they had to chip, because I don’t think they knew how to throw it in there. If you try to spin it it goes, you bop one in there it still runs off. And you had to make sure you were on the right side of the hills or your ball runs off the green from one side to the other,” said Triton coach Jack Carpenter.
“Eight shot is all we were out. It’s just one of those days where we didn’t make the adjustments like we could have, and you pay the price against this kind of competition.”
It was an especially disappointing finish for junior Quentyn Carpenter, who came up just three strokes shy of a third straight state qualification after placing 19th in the finals each of the past two seasons.
“He didn’t play well, he’d be the first to tell you that,” said Jack Carpenter. “He missed a lot of greens today. I think he only had four or five pars, and he didn’t take advantage of holes he needed to. He gets off to a rough start, six over I think after four holes.
“He’s very disappointed because he’s as good as anybody here, without a doubt.”
Triton bids goodbye seniors Austin Kanarr and Slone, who overcame a tough start to turn in the Trojans’ second best score Thursday, but everyone else is expected to return from a season in which the team kept its regional streak alive as well as winning repeat Marshall County and Northern State Conference championships and going undefeated in dual meet play.
“Chandler gutted it out — 46, 35 — you’ve got to be proud of him as a senior leaving on a good note,” Carpenter said.
“We’ve had a great year. It hasn’t been numbers wise as good as previous years. But we won the county, we won the conference third year in a row, we won the LaVille Invitational fifth year in a row. It’s been good. I’m disappointed because we’ve not moved on anybody, but I’m happy with what we’ve done.”
Culver’s Trent Elliott shot a 91 to finish out his sophomore season in his first-ever regional tournament, while Plymouth sophomore Nate Kolter was derailed by the eighth hole at Orchard Ridge to finish with an 83 for the round. Pilgrims senior John Ruff shot a career-best 77 after advancing out of the Warsaw Sectional with a three-way playoff victory last week to close out his career on a high note.
“John Ruff had a career day today, played outstanding. Not a lot of loose shots, played very tight. Great on his all-around game. Short game was excellent, and he hit a couple tee shots that were just spectacular. Played like a senior today,” said Plymouth coach Ben Waymouth. “Nate had one bad hole… and that kind of got his round inflated. With that aside, he had a 70-some type round today, but shoots an 83 with that one bad hole; he was five over on that one hole alone.”
“I’m really pleased with both guys’ scores,” Waymouth added. “I know Nate, we expected him to break 80 today, but talking to some of the coaches out here today, the greens were the firmest that they had ever had out here today. As far as the course setup, I don’t think that the club here wanted anybody to go tremendously low, and that is evident with the scores I’m seeing here on the scoreboard.”
Plymouth fell a place short of team advancement to Thursday’s regional with a fourth-place result at the Warsaw Sectional but advanced two players individually to Homestead for the school’s first regional berths since 2007.
The Pilgrims say goodbye to Ruff and fellow upperclassman Patrick Felke, but everyone else is expected back next year and some new incoming talent should add to the mix as well.
“We did a great job being consistent this year. Our team scores were consistent for weeks and weeks,” said Waymouth. “As a program we’re moving forward. We’ve got some decent talent coming, and the sky’s the limit as far as how much these guys want to improve. I’m looking forward to next year already just knowing what we’ve got returning and knowing what we’re capable of.”
• HOMESTEAD GOLF REGIONAL
At Orchard Ridge
Team results: 1. Warsaw 308, 2. Bishop Dwenger 322, 3. Northridge 323, 4. Lakeland 325, 5. Dekalb 326, 6. Culver Academy 327, 7. Canterbury 330, 8. Carroll 331, 9. Triton 331, 10. Homestead 335, 11. Garrett 335, 12. Elkhart Memorial 337.
Individuals advancing without a team: 1. Spencer Mortola (L) 74, 2. Michael Sharp (East Noble) 74, 3. Cody Richardson (L) 75.
CMA (327): Davis Payne 84, John Connelly 79, Bailey Roubos 79, Logan Joseph 85, Ben Sharff 91.
Triton (331): Quentyn Carpenter 78, Ryan Rapp 87, Tanner Shepherd 85, Austin Kanarr 110, Chandler Slone 81.
John Ruff (Plymouth) 77, Nate Kolter (Plymouth) 83, Trent Elliott (Culver Community) 91