FRANKLIN — Even after placing third in the Muncie Central regional at The Players Club last Friday, Pendleton Heights boys golf coach Jim Phillips said he felt his squad that won the sectional title earlier that week could be very dangerous at the state meet this week at The Legends Golf Club.
But after 18 holes of the two-day tournament Tuesday, the Arabians all but shot their way out of contention for a team and individual state title.
Pendleton Heights shot a 20-over team score of 308 to put it in 12th place out of 15 teams after the first round. Junior Tyler Meyer led the Arabians with a 75. Senior Rylan Denney followed with a 76. Junior Colin Proctor carded a 78, and sophomore Zach Farrer and junior Trevar Denney each shot 79.
None of Phillips’ players shot terrible rounds, but no one managed to get off to a fast start to keep pace with the likes of Columbus North or Westfield, who sit in first and second at the halfway point with rounds of 290 and 291, respectively.
Through watching bits and pieces of his players’ rounds Tuesday, Phillips felt like tee to green the Arabians played just fine, but the putts just weren’t falling.
“We missed a lot of putts,” Phillips said. “I watched a lot of putts lip out. I don’t think our speed was bad. We just weren’t making any putts. Everything was running by, and with kids and golf, if they make a few putts early, a lot of time it’s a different story, and we just didn’t make them early.”
Phillips added that because of his younger lineup that included one sophomore and just one senior, nerves may have gotten to his players a bit, with only Proctor having any experience at the state tournament level, qualifying as an individual his freshman year before missing the cut after the first day.