Triton’s Rapp 2 shots off the lead after 1st round of state golf finals

FRANKLIN — Triton’s two DI golfers saw their rounds take very different turns Tuesday.
Ryan Rapp got off to an inauspicious start as he hooked his first tee shot out of bounds but quickly settled in to post a 2-under 70 just two shots off the lead, while Quentyn Carpenter saw his 3 under at the turn dissolve with a quadruple bogey on No. 2 and sits tied for 23rd in the 100-player field at 2-over 74 with the first round of the IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals now complete.
Triton sits at 15th in the team standings with a 313, meanwhile, as the second and final round of the state finals got underway at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin.
While it may not have been his best start, Rapp quickly got his tournament jitters under control Tuesday.
After his double bogey on 10, the Marian University recruit chipped in for birdie on the par 3 13th, then followed with birdie putts on 15 and 16 to finish the back nine at 1 under. His birdie on 1 pushed him out to 2 under, and he parred out the remaining eight holes to finish the day tied for fifth two strokes behind leaders Devin Jenkins of Floyd Central, Kyle Meihofer of Valparaiso and Adam Wood of Zionsville, who fired off a trio of 4-under 68s to share the lead after the first 18 at The Legends.
“He and I talked, and doubling your first hole is probably better than doubling your last hole; you have a lot of time to work on it,” said Triton golf coach Jack Carpenter of Rapp. “And I have all the faith in the world in him. He walked down the fairway kind of shaking his head, and my comment to him was ‘You’ve got 17 holes to get it.’ He said ‘I can make bogey here yet.’ Well, he made double, but he gave it a good shot. He birdies three holes, has no more bogeys on that side and finishes 1 under. That’s just the type of kid he is. You can’t tell him walking down the fairway whether he’s 10 over or he’s 3 under, which is a good thing to have in golf. He keeps an even keel — not too high, not too low — which helps his swing stay the same all the time.”
“I put my first drive OB and end up taking double. I’m like ‘Oh man, great way to start the state championship,’ but I kept composed after that,” explained Rapp.
“I stood there and took a deep breath and told myself it’s the state championship; I didn’t expect to be here. Anything we do now is a bonus.”
While Rapp overcame his shaky start, Carpenter’s round took something of an opposite trajectory as he opened with a birdie on the par 5 10th, then carded three straight birdies on 15, 16 and 17 following his lone bogey on the back side on 13 at The Legends to enter the turn at 3 under. The Ball State signee’s stellar round was nearly derailed early on the front side, however, as two out of bounds penalties on 2 left him with a quadruple bogey on the hole and pushed him back to 1 over. Carpenter birded No. 5 to get back to even par, but he followed with another big number on 6, this time a double bogey, and he finished out the day at 2 over despite five birdies for the round.
“I had two killer holes — I took a nine and I took a seven. I’m kind of disappointed,” said Quentyn. “I went to the back nine with high hopes. It’s just as easy a nine, and I was just lost and I was like ‘What happened?’ But, I mean, I played 16 of the best holes I have all season; I was hitting the ball great. It was just two holes that killed me in the end.”
Tuesday’s state finals opener wasn’t anything particularly new for Carpenter and Rapp, who finished out their freshman seasons at the big meet back in 2010. Carpenter wound up tied for 14th at 2-over 143 in the best-ever finish by a Triton golfer that year, and he qualified again as a sophomore in 2011, eventually tying for 19th with a 7-over 151.
Rapp and Carpenter have also played at The Legends each of the past two seasons at the Spring Preview Meet, and both said course familiarity was an asset Tuesday.
“Me and Q, we have experience on the course, so we know where to miss the ball, where to put it, the odd things about the course,” Rapp said. “It’s in pretty good shape; it’s really fun to play.”
“I’ve played this course so many times. I’ve been down here, and I know almost all the guys playing in the field,” Quentyn said. “It’s a great tournament, and I’m happy to be here.”
While Rapp and Carpenter combined for an even-par 144, Triton juniors Lucas Shafer and Tanner Shepherd turned in respective scores of 84 and 85 at Tuesday’s round, and freshman Greg Music carded a 95. The Trojans’ 313 was a full 37 strokes off the team tally they posted at the Spring Preview Meet back in April, but the little Class A program still sits in the last team spot against a loaded field, two strokes behind Terre Haute North’s 311.
“To give you a little indication, we shoot 350 here at the Spring Preview and we’re going to shoot 313 here today, so I can’t complain with a 37-shot improvement,” said Jack. “But you shoot 153 on the back side and you come to this side — which I think is a hair easier — and shoot 160, it’s ridiculous.
“Our goal was to be 12th or better, and I think we were sitting at seventh at the turn, which was for us, against this type of competition, probably phenomenal. It’s probably maybe stretching it a little too far, but when you get there you want to stay there, and we just couldn’t do it.”
The Trojans opened Wednesday with Music on No. 10 at 8:27 a.m. This year’s state finals format marks a departure from years past, as the IHSAA cut the field to 15 teams via a move from seven regionals to five. All state-qualifying teams and individuals thus automatically play in the second round of the finals, unlike in past tournaments where half the field was cut after the first round.
“It’s neat because we don’t have a cut this year. It took pressure off the day,” said Rapp. “You didn’t have to play a great round today to make it. I want to finish as high up as I can, especially being my last high school tournament ever. There’s some pressure, but 36 holes guaranteed took some pressure off.”
“You can’t win a tournament on the first day but you can lose it, and I don’t think I really lost it today,” said Quentyn. “Tomorrow’s going to be different weather, different conditions, but I hope that I can just play my game and fire a low score and see where it takes me.
“I know today if there was a cut I maybe wouldn’t have made the cut, but that’s alright. I get to play tomorrow, I get to play my last high school round, and I couldn’t be happier than to finish here at the state finals.”
At The Legends Golf Club (Par 72)
First round
Team scores: 1. Columbus North 290, 2. Westfield 291, 3. Floyd Central 292, 4. Avon 294, 5. Jasper 295, 6. TIE Valparaiso, Evansville Memorial 300, 8. Bishop Dwenger 302, 9. Hamilton Southeastern 304, 10. TIE Warsaw, Carmel 308, 12. Noblesville 309, 14. Terre Haute North 311, 15. Triton 313.
TRITON (313): Quentyn Carpenter 74, Ryan Rapp 70, Lucas Shafer 84, Tanner Shepherd 85, Greg Music 95.