Times Sports Editor
GOSPORT -- If the performance's by the regional qualifying teams at the Owen Valley Sectional on Monday are any indication, the Wabash Valley could be well represented in the upcoming rounds of the golf postseason.
Terre Haute North shot a school record score of 282 to win the sectional with Terre Haute South in second at 294 and Northview moving on with a score of 304. To put those remarkable scores in perspective, the Braves won last year's sectional on the same course with a 303 and the Knights advanced to the state finals after starting the postseason with a 305 and a runner-up finish in the sectional. Clay City shot a team score of 373 as Darius Farmer led the team with an 84 followed by a 90 from Koby Rhodes, a 97 from Colton Dyer and a 102 each from Austin Sinders and Nick Johnson.
The Knights had a great opening nine holes as the top-four scoring golfers were a combined two-over-par. However, the back nine, as it did for many teams, raised the final scores. However, Northview coach Scott Buell was pretty happy afterwards with his team's score.
"If you'd have told me we would have shot 304 at the beginning of the day, I would have taken it," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "We had a great front-nine and we were tied with (Terre Haute) North at the turn and leading (Terre Haute) South by one shot and then went to the back nine and had a few bad holes. We were able to hang on."
"Hanging on" might seem like a rough phrase to describe a score that was a stroke better than Northview's second-place finish last year, but when the Patriots' play lights out like they did at Rolling Meadows Golf Course on Monday, it raised the stakes on the other team's play as well.
The Patriots got a pair of 68's from juniors, Ryan Sneddon and Nick Parham to go with a 73 apiece from Will Pollock and Grant Lewellyn.
Northview got a round of 72 from Drew Snyder and a 73 from Ryan Turner. Daniel Eaglin carded a 77, Brad Smith shot an 83 and Josh Hoskins had an 89.
While the final nine holes bit a number of players and teams, Parham was not one of them. He shot a 32 on the back-nine holes, which was the best in the tourney.
For the Knights, who got a 36 from both Turner and Eaglin on the front-nine and a 37 from both Smith and Snyder, the closing few holes were a bit tougher according to Buell.
Experience was of great benefit to the Knights, who had Snyder, Turner and Eaglin returning from last year's state finals team.
"(Experience) really helped," Buell said of his senior driven line-up. "Daniel (Eaglin) will be the first golfer in Northview history to play in four regionals and Drew (Snyder) and Ryan (Turner) will tie (2009 graduate) Kade Baker, playing in three regionals."
Eaglin played some lights out golf on the front-nine, birdying holes No. 2, No. 3 and No. 9 and Turner shot an eagle on the par-5, 475-yard fifth hole. However, the back started out a little more difficult for Eaglin as he double-bogeyed No. 10 and No. 18.
For the Knights' No. 1 golfer, Synder, his round had a bit of a rollercoaster aspect to it as he started with a bogey on No. 1 before a birdie on the third hole to get back to even. He later had another bogey on No. 4, but bounced back with another birdie on No. 6 to finish the front-nine at one-over-par, 37.
Snyder's back-nine got off to a tumultuous start as well with bogeys on No. 10 and No. 13 and a double on No. 13. However, the senior came back to finish strong with birdies on holes No. 15, 17 and No. 18.
For the Northview boys' golf program, this continues an impressive run in the postseason by the current graduating class.
"So we've had an unbelievable stretch here and I'm really happy Brad (Smith) and Josh (Hoskins) will get the chance to experience (playing in a regional)," Buell said. "So we'll go down and spend the night and play a practice round and the regional, it'll be a great experience for them. I'm really happy for these seniors to get to go back to the regional and play one more time."
Besides the three qualifying teams, Linton's Ben Boyd (74) and Chase Rhoten (76) along with Sullivan's Derek Andre (77) will qualify for the regional beginning on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Country Oaks Golf Course near Washington.
"It's a tough course," Buell said of Country Oaks Golf Course. "We were down there and played in a tournament a few weeks ago and we didn't play well. But I know the guys' competitive juices will kick in and they'll want to go down and shoot a good score. So we'll see what happens, you never know with this game."
Owen Valley Golf Sectional
At Rolling Meadows Golf Course
- Top-3 teams advance to regional
Team Scores: T.H. North 282, T.H. South 294, Northview 304, Linton 307, Sullivan 326, Owen Valley 351, North Central 364, Bloomfield 368, West Vigo 373, Clay City 373, Union 424, Shakamak Inc., White River Valley Inc.
Top-three teams and local
T.H. North (282)
Ryan Sneddon 68, Nick Parham 68, Grant Lewellyn 73, Will Pollock 73, Sam Pollock 77
T.H. South (294)
Thomas Goss 73, Eric Gertz 71, Shelby Stewart 76, Jackson Jarvis 78, Cory Gertz 74
Drew Snyder 72, Ryan Turner 73, Daniel Eaglin 77, Brad Smith 82, Josh Hoskins 89
Clay City (373)
Darius Farmer 84, Koby Rhodes 90, Colton Dyer 97, Austin Sinders 102, Nick Johnson 102
68 -- Ryan Sneddon (THN), 34-34
68 -- Nick Parham (THN), 36-32
71 -- Eric Gertz (THS), 37-34
72 -- Drew Snyder (Nview), 37-35
73 -- Thomas Goss (THS), 37-36
73 -- Grant Lewellyn (THN), 37-36
73 -- Will Pollock (THN), 39-34
73 -- Ryan Turner (Nview), 36-37
74 -- Cory Gertz (THS), 37-37
74 -- Ben Boyd (Lin), 35-39*
76 -- Shelby Stewart (THS), 36-40
76 -- Chase Rhoten (Lin), 39-37
77 -- Sam Pollock (THN), 42-35
77 -- Daniel Eaglin (Nview), 36-41
77 -- Derek Andre (Sull), 40-37*