Carpenter, Trojans win Marshall Co. Meet

CULVER — Whatever a player’s score on the front side at Mystic, he can usually count on adding a few stokes on the course’s hilly back nine. Triton’s Quentyn Carpenter shaved one.
Carpenter entered the turn trailing fellow top flighter Trent Elliott of Culver Community as well as teammate Ryan Rapp and Cam Gurtner of LaVille by a stroke, but he birdied the 12th and 13th to move into the lead, then followed a bogey on the 15th with par golf over the final three holes to reclaim the individual Marshall County Golf Championship with an even-par 71 Saturday.
Carpenter’s low round helped push the Trojans to their sixth straight team title at the meet with a 308 while Bremen came in a distant second with a 353 team score, one stroke ahead of third-place John Glenn, Culver Military finished fourth with a 373, LaVille was fifth with a 380, and Culver Community rounded out the standings with a 430.
Saturday’s individual championship race came down to the wire as Carpenter sunk two big putts to save par on 17 and 18 and hold off 2012 champion Zach Gurtner as well as Rapp and Glenn’s Tyler Prentkowski playing in the second flight. It was the Triton No. 1’s third Marshall County championship following repeat wins in 2010 and 11 before Zach Gurtner unseated him last year.
“I knew most of the scores were good because my group at the turn, Elliott shot 35, I shot 36, Gurtner shot 36, Prentkowski shot 37, so I knew at that point I’d have to do something on the back nine if I wanted to win. I’d have to go low and I’d have to play really consistent,” said Carpenter.
“I wasn’t really thinking as much of the win as I was just wanting to play good. I’ve been struggling this year, so I really wanted to come out here and play well today. I know this course very well, and I had a good practice round yesterday, a lot of confidence coming in. I struggled today at the start, but as the day went on I kind of settled in, got a little more comfortable with the greens and my swing and played really well on the back nine to finish it off right.”
While Carpenter shot the meet low, fellow Division I recruit Rapp finished in a second-place tie with Zach Gurtner and Prentkowski three strokes back at 3-over 74 Saturday.
“Ryan and Quentyn are going to be consistent for me all year,” said Triton head golf coach Jack Carpenter. “I know Ryan is a little disappointed with his round today, the way he finished. He finished with a double bogey and still shot 74, so he could’ve been right there to tie Quentyn and go into a playoff with him. Quentyn played better on the back nine, and the back nine is a tougher nine than the front by far. That’s just the kind of player he is — he’s a grinder and he’s going to just focus mentally the best he can, and he proved it on the back nine. It says something for his game that he can step it up when he needs to.”
“What a great group,” said Glenn head coach Randy Schmeltz of the top four finishers at the Marshall County tourney. “If you’re a good golfer you want to play with the best, and a lot of those guys have known each other for the past two or three years any way. I just thought that was an awesome foursome to play against each other on a nice day. They were battling back and forth with each other all day long.”
Carpenter and Rapp gave the Trojans a strong one-two punch, while Tanner Shepherd’s 76 and Lucas Shafer’s 87 clinched Triton a sixth-straight team title at the county meet.
“It’s really cool to win all four in your county every year,” said Rapp.
“Me and Q have stepped up, Tanner’s playing really good right now. Lucas — I always call him Luscious — he’s not playing very good, but he’s stepping up; he’s a good player.”
“I’m very pleased with the progress my three, four and five have made,” said Jack Carpenter. “For us to be good and to be able to compete with the big teams, be able to compete at the sectional level, they have got to get better, and they have. They’ve got a long ways to go, but Greg (Music) and Lucas and Tanner have shown great improvement. Tanner’s 76 today, he started with a triple and he ends up 5 over. He put the triple aside and was able to deal with it, and the next 17 holes he played 2 over, so I’m very impressed with his mental game from that aspect.”
Although Kevin Woodyard’s 80 was only good enough for eighth individually, Bremen’s consistent top four scores trumped Prentkowski’s runner-up finish as the Lions edged Glenn 353-354 for team runner-up honors at the county meet.
Clayton Phillips turned in a 90 in the number five spot for Bremen, while Micah Knoblock and Brad Foster shot 91 and 92, respectively, to push the Lions past the Falcons.
“We’ve got about six or seven golfers that are all within a shot or two of each other so it’s always hard to know who we’re going to bring and who we’re not,” said Keith Philips, filling in for Bremen coach Ryan Eakins Saturday. “They did a great job today; our number five was our second-place golfer so it just kind of shows as a team. You just try to focus on trying to beat the guys you’re playing with and just play smart.”
Prentkowski’s 74 paced Glenn as he turned in 37s on both sides of the turn at Mystic. Nick Vandervelden shot 85, Ben Weiss carded 97, Michael Schmeltz struggled with a 98 in the number two spot, and the Falcons couldn’t quite catch Bremen.
“VanDerVelden is a senior… he wants do well this year, and 85 I think is his best 18-hole round,” said Randy Schmeltz. “We need a solid three and four round, and he may be that solid three. Michael had a tough round today. He’s a lot better than what he showed today, and that will show as the season goes along.”
Zach Gurtner’s 74 led LaVille, while cousin Cam Gurtner shot a solid 78 after entering the turn tied for the lead with Elliott. Elliott also finished with 78 to tie for sixth place with Gurtner in the final standings. The Lancers saw their bottom three shoot 18-hole lows in their first year of play, too, as Tyler Thomas shot 113 in the number five spot, Dustin Royer shot 115 at four, and Luke Laidig came in at 120 at three.
“What I was most impressed with was this is the first time my number six golfer, Tyler Thomas, playing at number five, and he ends up shooting 113, and we score him,” said LaVille assistant coach Steve Read, filling in for head coach Alan Burch. “I was happy with him, and I was actually happy with Dustin Royer because we have kids that haven’t shot in the 50s, but now e had three of them.”
Culver got a strong round from Elliott, who entered the turn tied with Rapp and Cam Gurtner for the lead at 35, but he followed up double bogeys on 12 and 13 with bogeys on 14 and 15 to fall out of the running for the championship.
“I’m very pleased with Trent’s round on the front nine. The back side is traditionally two or three strokes tougher, and he got himself in a bad situation on a couple of the holes and ends up doubling and going 4 over right away on that back side. That’s tough to overcome,” said Culver coach Kyle Elliott.
Meanwhile, the inexperienced Cavs struggled to find a solid score behind Elliott as Cody Peterson shot 101, Tristan Schultz scored 114, and Ken VanDePutte shot 137 for last-place Culver on its home course.
“It all comes down to inexperience,” said the Cavaliers boss of his team. “Six of our eight are freshmen, and none of them have played 18-hole rounds in a tournament. It’s just going to come down to practice and getting out outside of the golf season. Most of those kids, this is the first time swinging a club.”
CMA placed third Saturday led by Michael Heidkamp’s 89, followed by Wyatt Clark’s 91, Mitchell Kokko’s 96, and Jonathan Irving’s 97 as the varsity Eagles traveled to the Rochester Invitational at Round Barn.
Three weeks into the golf season, Saturday’s meet was also a preview of the Northern State Conference meet in three weeks at Mystic.
Triton is expected to be the easy favorite while Glenn and Bremen fight it out for second. Knox and New Prairie will add to the mix
with LaVille and Culver Community at the seven-team meet May 18.
“It gives us confidence to be able to win because it’s the same course, the same tee box. It’ll be fun,” said Rapp of the NSC meet.
“Going into the year, I probably would not have assumed that we would break 310, so I’m very pleased with the depth of the team there,” said Jack Carpenter. “A 76 by Tanner, and I know Lucas can go better than 87, so I’m really going to put the pressure to them to get even lower. Going into conference, we’re going to be looking at 3-5 or better, because we can do it.”
At Mystic Hills (par 71)
Team scores: Triton 308, Bremen 353, John Glenn 354, Culver Military 373, LaVille 380, Culver Community 430.
TRITON (308): Quentyn Carpenter 71, Ryan Rapp 74, Tanner Shepherd 76, Lucas Shafer 87, Greg Music DQ.
BREMEN (353): Kevin Woodyard 80, Micah Knoblock 91, Brad Foster 92, Spencer Hille 99, Clayton Phillips 90.
GLENN (354): Tyler Prentkowski 74, Michael Schmeltz 98, Nick VanDerVelden 85, Ben Weiss 97, Austin Hayes 101.
CMA (373): Michael Heidkamp 89, Jonathan Irving 97, Wyatt Clark 91, Mitchell Kokko 96, Camden Burggrabe DQ.
LaVILLE (380): Zach Gurtner 74, Cameron Gurtner 78, Luke Laidig 120, Dustin Royer 115, Tyler Thomas 113.
CULVER (430): Trent Elliott 78, Cody Peterson 101, Tristan Schultz 114, Ken VanDePutte 137, Tevin Jones 157.