DEMOTTE — Flat. Fatigued. Frustrated.
Twin Lakes’ boys golf team was determined to prove it was even better than its school-record 305 carded six days prior during the Logansport Sectional.
A combination of long hours, rough heat and what head coach Tom Harker described as a “punishing course” if not played properly put an end to the Indians’ hopes quickly Thursday at the Sandy Pines Golf Club. Twin Lakes carded a 359 to place 13th among 18 teams at the Lake Central Regional, ending its season.
“We started the day well, but failing to hit fairways proved to be too much,” Harker said. “At Sandy Pines if you don’t put the ball in play well off the tee it is a punishing course. We did not hit many fairways today and when we missed, we scored very poorly.”
The scorecards relayed that same message. Everyone played bogey or double-bogey golf, and Twin Lakes registered six triple-bogeys amongst its five scorers. There were also two quadruple-bogeys, a six-over par 10 on the fifth hole and an eight-over par 12 on the 16th hole.
“Today was just one of the days where I struck the ball well but didn’t score, and I’m sure that’ll hold true with my teammates as well,” said Jalen Shidler after carding a 104. “Waiting on pretty much every tee box definitely didn’t help either.”
Rulings issues and other factors led to a long day for nearly everyone in the 111-golfer field. Twin Lakes began its first tee time at 8:24 a.m., and saw its No. 1 golfer Jadden Ousley, walk off the course at roughly 2:30 p.m.
“Yes, the weather and length probably had some affects on my game today, but that is nothing to blame my round on,” Lewis Dellinger said after carding an 89. “Everyone played in the same heat and slow play and there were still great scores.”
Carmel, Crown Point and Guerin Catholic advanced to state with team scores of 291, 320 and 321, respectively. The top five scores were either 72 (three) or 73, and Carmel’s Cole Harris beat Lafayette Harrison’s Nic Hoffman in a playoff for medalist honors. Hoffman was one of five individuals to advance to state — those individuals shot between a 72 and 76.
A 76 was what Ousley hoped for. He had a 37 on the front nine, just one over par, as three birdies helped cancel out an early double-bogey. And despite a triple-bogey on the par-4 No. 12, Ousley had an outside chance at making the cut — if he parred out. Ousley birdied No. 14 to give him that chance, but then bogeyed two holes and double-bogeyed the others.
“With a combination of the day’s theme of poor tee shots, and just pure combustion I played the last four holes seven over par to end my school season,” Ousley said. “I felt my entire season implode in four holes, which hurts. It stinks right now, but this isn’t supposed to be easy.”
Ousley had three birdies, and Ty Ploss collected two while also carding an 83. His two were on the back nine, but felt the backup hindered his momentum.
“I was feeling good on the back nine but the waiting killed me,” he said. “It was a nice day today and not the best round to end this season but a round to push me for summer tournaments.”
Logan Creamer equaled Shidler’s score of 104, who noted his approach shots and putting derailed what was a solid day for his tee shots.
Dellinger noted his putter was the one thing he trusted on all season, and Sandy Pines’ greens somewhat negated that aspect of his game.
Each golfer expressed a hunger to prove Thursday was a fluke by working harder in the summer. All five Indians are expected to return.
“Obviously we did not have our best rounds today as a team and definitely not my best round personally,” Dellinger said. “But I think we all will use this as motivation and all we can do is keep our heads down and make a better season next year with a great returning team.”