Tigers flip script on Trojans at Warsaw

WINONA LAKE — Last year, Triton beat Warsaw on the Trojans’ fifth score to win the Warsaw Sectional championship. On Friday, the Tigers returned the favor.
Warsaw recorded a fifth score of 87 to trump Triton’s 100 and break a 323-323 tie for the Tigers’ fourth such title in six years on a damp, blustery and unseasonably cold day at Stonehenge Country Club.
Culver Military Academy carded a 338 for the third and final team berth to the Homestead Regional next Thursday in Fort Wayne, while Plymouth placed fourth nine strokes back, and Bremen was 12th with a score of 402. Culver Community was unable to field a full team due a scheduling conflict with its graduation commencement ceremony, but sophomore Trent Elliott turned in an 82 for an individual regional qualification.
“It was probably a little more surprising this year that we were able to hang with them because I don’t think we’re as deep as we were last year,” said Triton head coach Jack Carpenter. “I kind of credit that to both things: I think my kids played pretty well for the most part, and Warsaw probably played a little poorly. The weather obviously had something to do with some of that, but that was obviously the same for everybody. So I feel pretty good about our ability to kind of hang with them.”
Triton was led by Quentyn Carpenter’s round of 77 as the defending sectional champion finished one stroke behind 2012 individual champ Tyler Ostrom of Warsaw, who beat out Plymouth’s Nate Kolter in a playoff on 18 for low medalist honors. Ryan Rapp and Tanner Shepherd turned in respective scores of 84 and 85, and the Trojans got a big boost from fifth man Chandler Slone, who tied with Carpenter for third overall.
“Chandler played five man today, and that was for a couple reasons,” said Jack Carpenter. “One, I was very disappointed in his attitude at Lafayette Jeff last weekend; I thought it was one of few times he kind of gave up on his round. So I told him he was moving down the lineup, and then when we got the tee pairings and I saw that we were teeing off first and our five man was first — Chandler is a kid who likes to play quickly. He doesn’t like to wait, and I knew putting him out first as five man would allow him to move. One way or the other, it paid off.”
“Quentyn would tell you his big mistake today was his choice on his second shot on number two. He takes a triple there,” continued the Triton skipper. “Had a poor lie, he should have laid up, and he tried to go for the green. The ball didn’t go like he’d anticipated, it goes in the water and he three-putts. Basically that’s the difference between him being medalist or being second place or tied for third so to speak with a 77. But he battled on the back nine and makes eagle on the last hole. He battles until the end; he’s not going to give up.”
CMA’s inexperienced squad led at the turn but was unable to hold on on the back nine at Stonehenge. None of the Eagles broke 80, but they got the job done with consistency as Davis Payne shot an 83, and Bailey Roubos, Logan Joseph and Ben Sharff all carded 85s to help make up for a rough round of 91 by second flighter John Connelly.
“They played great on the front nine. They had 155 — my four and five had 39s and my three had a 36 — so we had some really good scores out of them,” said CMA head coach Fred Haase. “Even though we struggled on the back, it was still good enough. I think our inexperience showed a little bit. We had a couple bad holes, and the boys just never recovered from it. Think they dwelled too much on what happened in the past.”
“What they’ve accomplished this year they’ve done as a team,” he added. “I don’t have that one player that can shoot down around par.
Typically, they’ve been pretty well bunched, and if somebody faltered somebody else was there to pick him up. That’s what happened today too. I certainly expected John to shoot better than he did today.”
While Plymouth fell short of a team berth to the Homestead tilt, the Pilgrims did receive a nice consolation prize as two players earned individual qualifications to the regional in Kolter and Ruff.
Kolter, only a sophomore playing in his second sectional, just lost out in a two-way playoff for the individual championship with Ostrom, while Ruff scrambled out of the weeds on the back side of the 18th green in his own playoff for the final individual regional berth — a three-way tiebreaker with Wawasee’s Derek Zurcher and Luke Jackson — chipping in out of the fescue from better than 25 feet out.
“With the really windy and cold and wet conditions today, both kids played really well. I’m sure there are a lot of shots that they would like to have back in different places,” said Plymouth coach Ben Waymouth.
“The kid that Nate lost to in the playoff is a DI athlete — he’s going to Ball State — and a state champion. Nothing to be upset about. You’re there and you want to win, and he’s a little upset that he didn’t have a better putt there at the end to at least push it to another hole.
“John Ruff hit a once-in-a-lifetime shot from an area that you don’t ever want to be in, in a regular round, let alone a playoff. That was exciting. His folks drove as fast as they could to get back here from Plymouth to catch that at the end, which was special. I’m sure that’s something he’ll remember to kind of cap off his senior year.”
Ruff shook his head as he cleared a swath out of the tall grass after airmailing the green with his third shot in the playoff, but he was all smiles after draining his unbelievable chip-in to clinch the third ticket out to Homestead.
“It was kind of some thick stuff down there. I was in the fescue. I was hoping it would have been a better lie, but it came out pretty easy; it rolled right down. Hey, it was a good shot,” he said.
“It was a great way to end my senior year of golf. I’m in shock.”
While Kolter would no doubt rather have won the championship Friday, he was nevertheless pleased with his runner-up finish as he took 2011 state champ and record-holder Ostrom down to the wire.
“The front was a little wet, but I was only shot one over on the front. I had a bad double on 17 that kind of killed me, but I’m happy to be a sophomore and get second. Especially to be with a player like Tyler, who’s going DI and as good a player as he is, it feels great to be a sophomore and do this,” he said.
While Ruff stretched his senior season at least another round, fellow Pilgrims upperclassman Patrick Felke played his last round of high school golf, carding a 98. Zach Craft shot a 93, and Ben Schenk shot a 95 for Plymouth, meanwhile.
“Our preparation was good coming in. I was pleased with how our guys prepared,” said Waymouth. “Our practice round was good coming over here. The conditions were just tougher today than when we played our practice round yesterday. I’m pleased overall.
“Pat’s been a tremendous leader for us. His performance today was not at all what he would have dreamed up, but he’s been a glue guy for us keeping a lot of the guys on the same page and doing the right things. He outworks just about everybody there is. He hits a bazillion balls, spends a lot of time. His leadership and intangibles that he offers have been tremendous for us as a program over the last few years.”
Bremen closed out its season with a 402. Kevin Woodyard shot a 90, Micah Knoblock and Nate Strehler turned in respective scores of 101 and 102, and Sky Allen shot a 109 to complete the Lions’ score.
“Realistically we weren’t coming down here with aspirations of winning the thing,” said first-year Bremen coach Ryan Eakins. “There are some really good golfers here and guys that know how to play. Our goal today was really just to compete. We’re here to have fun, but we wanted to compete and make shots and if we make a mistake, get it back the next shot and really play a mental game with ourselves to try and shoot our best round of the year on a really tough course that we’re not familiar with and weather that’s awful. I was pleased with the fact that they did come down here and really mentally battled amidst the tough conditions.”
Even better news for Bremen is the fact that everyone in its top five is expected back next year.
“Guys really need to play this summer. Micah and Kevin especially are guys that are really capable of being two guys that can get out of this sectional in the future if they put the time in to get more consistent on their swing,” Eakins said. “When you have everybody coming back you can kind of build on that and take some momentum into the offseason.”
Along with Elliott’s regional-qualifying 82, Cody Peterson shot a 123 for Culver Community. The team bid goodbye to a trio of seniors in Zach Duplay, Luke Dunfee and Joe Krsek, none of whom was able to attend Friday’s meet as they participated in Culver’s graduation ceremony.

At Stonehenge Country Club
(Par 71)
Team standings: 1. Warsaw 323*, 2. Triton 323*, 3. Culver Military Academy 338, 4. Plymouth 347*, 5. Wawasee 347*, 6. Columbia City 361, 7. Tippecanoe Valley 375, 8. Manchester 392, 9. Wabash 394, 10. Northfield 399, 11. Whitko 401, 12. Bremen 402, 13. Southwood 417, 14. Culver Community NS
* Indicates when fifth player’s score determines team’s place.
Individuals advancing without a team: 1. Nate Kolter ℗ 76, 2. Trent Elliott (CC) 82, 3. John Ruff ℗ 83**
** Indicates when playoff determines winner.
1. Warsaw (323): Tyler Ostrom 76, Jon Schram 77, Tim Ahlersmeyer 84, Bennett Hollar 87, Jonny Hollar 86
2. Triton (323): Quentyn Carpenter 77, Ryan Rapp 84, Tanner Shepherd 85, Lucas Shafer 100, Chandler Slone 77
3. Culver Military Academy (338): Davis Payne 83, John Connelly 91, Bailey Roubos 85, Logan Joseph 85, Ben Sharff 85
4. Plymouth (347): Nate Kolter 76, John Ruff 83, Ben Schenk 95, Zach Craft 93, Patrick Felke 98
5. Wawasee (347): Derek Zurcher 83, Dylan Cousins 100, Tristen Atwood 89, Luke Jackson 83, Mason Germonorez 92
6. Columbia City (361): Drew Burnsworth 94, Drew Benedict 93, Max Dryer 84, Dustin Parrett 93, Trent Murphy 91
7. Tippecanoe Valley (375): Kevin Summe 94, Teddy Shepherd 92, Tanner Neeley 96, Bryce Zimpelman 93, Ben Shriver 109
8. Manchester (392): Tyler Warson 85, Aaron Johnson 106, Austin Whitaker 102, Connor Eichenauer 101, Xzavier Whitaker 104
9. Wabash (394): Jake Leland 94, Jordan Blair DQ, Parker Harner 102, Justin Middleton 98, Andrew Adamson 100
10. Northfield (399): Trae Cole 88, Zac Zumbaugh 96, Andrew Eckerly 103, Austin Burns 112, Eric Foltz 118
11. Whitko (401): Josh Busenbark 96, Colton LeTourneau 96, Danny Zawlocki 89, Cole Bechtold 121, Matt Hathaway 120
12. Bremen (402): Kevin Woodyard 90, Micah Knoblock 101, Nate Strehler 102, Sky Allen 109, Brad Foster 114
13. Southwood (417): Levi Winget 96, Drew Roser 105, Taylor Arwood 110, John Shaw 106, Aaron Parson 113
14. Culver Community (NS): Zach Duplay NS, Luke Dunfee NS, Joe Krsek NS, Cody Peterson 123, Trent Elliott 82