PLYMOUTH — Two days after shaving 18 strokes off their front side score for a new nine hole season-low at Orchard Ridge, Plymouth’s boys golf team pared off another four strokes Monday.
But Mishawaka Marian’s Matt Rozyck’s posted a field-best even-par 36, and the Pilgrims’ season-best 157 fell a stroke short of the Knights as Plymouth split with Marian and John Glenn in a three-way meet at the Silver Course at Indiana National.
While Rozyck carded a 36 in the second flight for Marian, teammate Michael Makris came in just a stroke behind him at 37.
Plymouth saw a strong one-two of its own as Zach Craft shot a career-best 37 — including three birdies on the par 5 fourth and seventh and another on the par 4 sixth at Swan Lake — to lead the Pilgrims from the third flight, while Nate Kolter carded 38, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch Marian.
“I wasn’t expecting that low a score from their two spot, so that was kind of, I guess, a surprise,” said Plymouth boys golf coach Ben Waymouth. “Kolter had a solid round once again for us. Ben Schenk and Kurt Corsbie were our two high guys tonight with a 42 and 43. That’s an average round for them, and to go against Marian, who’s always very solid up and down their lineup year-in and year-out, you’ve got to have above average rounds from everybody.”
The most pleasant surprise of the night for Plymouth was Evan Parkhurst, who stepped up from his usual spot in the Pilgrims’ JV lineup to fill in for Kaydon Fosler and gave the Pilgrims their third score with a 40 ahead of Schenk and Corsbie in his first varsity outing.
“We did a little bit of a lineup change tonight, and Evan Parkhurst got his first varsity start,” said Waymouth. “With two holes to go he was 2 over. He had a bad break, hit a ball in the water on seven and ended up making double. He was 4 over, almost drove the green on the final hole and made par, so he did everything that I asked him to do tonight and played well.”
According to Waymouth, Parkhurst’s performance Monday is typical of a strong JV lineup — which posted its own season-best of 183 at Indiana National — pushing the Plymouth varsity, and that competition is only making the team better.
“I’m having guys make the lineup more difficult to make out, which is a good problem to have,” he said. “I gave Parkhurst a chance to play varsity tonight, and he threw a good number up but he’s been playing well as of late and that’s putting pressure on a few more of the guys. The competition is good, and that is healthy for us.”
Meanwhile Monday, Glenn got a strong round of 37 from Tyler Prentkowski on the heels of his even-par 72 for the individual championship at the LaVille Invitational at Swan Lake over the weekend.
“Tyler had a big round last weekend; he got off to an early lead with three or four birdies at the LaVille Invitational and held that lead all the way through,” said Glenn head coach Randy Schmeltz. “My expectation is that he’s always going to come in around par. That’s a lot to ask of a young kid, but he’s very focused, he’s very determined. He wants to play college golf. He practices more than anybody on the team and puts in more time on the weekend playing golf than anybody. He does it the right way.”
But the rest of Glenn’s squad struggled on its home course as the Falcons finished with 11 penalties Monday.
Christian Jaske shot 44 in the fourth spot in Glenn’s lineup, Michael Schmeltz shot 45, and Nick VanderVelden and Austen Hayes both shot 48.
“Our two, three, four, five guys, we had 11 penalties tonight on our home course,” said Glenn’s skipper. “The course has a lot of hazards and stuff, but we know they’re out there, and sometimes teams coming in don’t realize where they are. It should be them having more problems with that than us.”
While Glenn slipped to 8-4 in nine hole matches, Plymouth moved to 5-4 with the split, and Marian improved to 11-4.
The Pilgrims open Northern Lakes Conference play with a tough match against Northridge and state-ranked NorthWood at Meadow Valley today and an NLC dual against Goshen Wednesday before rejoining the Falcons at the Uebele Invitational at Beechwood Friday.
“We’re headed the right direction,” said Waymouth. “We start conference tomorrow, and I like where our team’s going maturity-wise and course management-wise. Fundamentally we’re getting better inside the game. We’re still waiting on that night that all five guys are clicking at one time, and I’m hoping that’s tomorrow night.”
“Our scores are coming down,” said Schmeltz. “We’re not seeing the 50s anymore; we’ve got a lot of guys shooting in the 40s. So we just keep working on our short game, trying to hit more fairways, trying to get close to the green in regulation, get a lot of up-and-downs. We’re seeing improvement, just not real fast right now.”
• MISHAWAKA MARIAN 156,
JOHN GLENN 174
At Indiana National (Silver Course) Par 36
MARIAN (156): Michael Makris 37, Matt Rozyck 36, Connor Isban 47, Alex Stopczyrski 41, John Kramer 42.
PLYMOUTH (157): Nate Kolter 38, Ben Schenk 42, Zach Craft 37, Kurt Corsbie 43, Evan Parkhurst 40.
Glenn (174): Tyler Prentkowski 37, Michael Schmeltz 45, Nick VanderVelden 48, Christian Jaske 44, Austen Hayes 48.
Records: Marian 11-4, Plymouth 5-4, Glenn 8-4.
JV score: Marian 179, Plymouth 183, Glenn 203.