YORKTOWN — The expectations were high for the Pendleton Heights golf team as it entered Friday’s regional finals at The Players Club, but a return trip to the state finals looked bleak early on.
Then the Arabians made the turn and put together an impressive comeback as the green and white ground out a third-place finish with a 309 and will move on to the state finals.
“I think a lot of people already has us booked for state and that always adds to the pressure and makes you nervous,” Pendleton coach Jim Phillips said. “We felt like we were one of the better teams here today, but you still have to play and come out and prove it.”
The four players whose scores made up the team total improved by 18 strokes as Pendleton Heights bested fourth place finisher Lawrence Central by a single stroke.
Tyler Meyer had the low round of the day for Pendleton Heights with a 75 and played the most consistent 18 holes for the Arabians. The IPFW commit fired a 37 on his first nine holes, Nos. 10-18, and a 38 on his second.
The greatest turnarounds were by senior Colin Proctor and sophomore Chase Simpson, each bettering their first nine holes by eight strokes.
Proctor’s No. 9 hole turned out to be the season-saving one. The University of Illinois commit’s tee shot went right and settled on No. 18’s fairway 110 yards from what may have been his last hole played in high school.
His second shot, though, was right on target thanks to an adjustment.
“I had a 56 (degree wedge) out, but switched to a 60 and hit three-quarter,” Proctor said. “In the air I knew it was going to be good.”
The club change worked out as the ball landed a foot past the hole and spun back to six inches from the cup, setting up the birdie putt which he rolled in.