It takes only a few seconds to swing a golf club a couple of times.
That’s the margin by which the Pendleton Heights golf team failed to advance to next week’s state finals.
The Arabians shot a 314, and it took a 312 to make the cut at Friday’s Muncie Central Regional at The Players Club. PH freshman Colin Proctor carded a 75, which was good enough to move on as an individual. He will play Tuesday at The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin.
Proctor shot a 39-36-75 to be one of the top three players not on an advancing team.
“I just didn’t hit it very well,” said Proctor of his Friday round. “I was basically even on every hole on the back nine.”
The Arabians’ top player, senior Jake Groninger, had identical 39s for each nine for a 78. Tyler Meyer had the second-best score for the team with a 39-38-77. Rylan Denney posted a 42-42-84, and Wes Dworek had a 46-40-86.
The team’s downfall came on the par-5 No. 4.
“We played No. 4 at 7-over as a team,” PH coach Chad Taflinger said. “That happened to us early and kind of set the tone. We were
in scramble mode the entire back nine after the turn.”
Pendleton fought back and improved the front nine team score of 158 by two strokes, but it was still two strokes too many. The second- through sixth-place team scores were separated by seven shots.
“So we battled the entire round,” said Taflinger. “We knew it would be close. This shows how good a regional this is. To miss by two shots out of over 300 — it hurts. I know the guys are hurting.”
Even Proctor was showing the pain despite making the state cut himself. “It’s exciting to be going to the state, but it’s also very disappointing. This team knows we are good enough to go to the state. I hate it that Jake (Groninger) doesn’t get to go to the state in his senior year.”
“I’ve been talking to (Colin) all along about making it to the state,” said Taflinger. “It gives us something to look forward to next week.”
Frankton’s Ryan Spangler made the regional as an individual, but his tournament trail ended at The Player’s Club. He shot a 42-44-86. A 75 was needed to advance as an individual.
Of the 12 teams in the regional, Shenandoah finished 11th with a 359. Sam Sweigart had the best score for the Raiders with a 41-45-86. Jaren Stiers was next with a 40-48-88. Josh Bousman posted a 44-45-89, Bristin Dunigan had 45-51-96 and Jakob Sinclair had 46-51-97.
Norwell was the regional champion with a team score of 303. Huntington North was second (312) and Yorktown was third (312). Huntington North’s EJ Tackett was the regional medalist with a 69. Mississinewa’s Dalton Miller and Mccormick Clouser of Norwell shot 71s on the par-72 layout.