Chad Puterbaugh and Bruce Comer became mathematicians every time a group of players came off the course.
The Twin Lakes girls golf coaches served as final-instruction dispensers when players ended their rounds at Tippecanoe Country Club in Norway during the Twin Lakes Sectional. They compared their scores against those of Winamac, the closest competition for advancement to the Lafayette Jefferson Regional.
Puterbaugh and Comer put together an array of fist pumps and smiles as Twin Lakes’ Maddy Sternfeldt, Grace Marocco, Chloie Roth, Kortney Kyser and Samantha Hornung walked toward the clubhouse. When the math was done, the Indians carded a 422 to beat Winamac by four strokes and continue a decades-long streak in which a Twin Lakes player or team reached the regional.
“We had to have things happen today,” Comer said. “We had to have, out of our four and five, we had to have one shoot their best round all year.”
Added Puterbaugh, “And they both shot well. Both shot better than they have all year.”
Comer cited the entire quintet’s effort amid the circumstances.
“We also needed two girls to be consistent, and one to shoot a really decent round. And we had all that out of all five of these girls,” he said. “We had a lot of things happen today that went right. It was pretty sweet to watch, to see the excitement out of them.”
At No. 5, Sternfeldt carded a career-best 113, nine strokes better than Winamac’s Bianca Huizar. Sternfeldt offered “chipping and putting” when the group was asked what the team discussed before Monday’s round, and admitted hers improved as the day went on.
“And she’s only been playing for two months,” Comer said.
Morocco shot a 118 to match Winamac’s Megan Wentz, and Roth’s 103 was six strokes better than the Warriors’ Giselle Lowry to put Twin Lakes up by 15 at that point.
“If it was our last match, we had to make the most of it and just have fun,” Roth said. “And we had a fun time.”
At No. 2, Kortney Kyser registered a career-best 97 and was the only Indians golfer to break 100. She carded a 47 on the back nine, and ended with a 50 on the front — even while shorting an approach shot and three-putting the No. 9 hole.
“I think I just started off good,” Kyser said. “I chipped in on the first hole (No. 10), and that just made things easier.”
Comer, Puterbaugh and Roth rained plaudits upon Kyser, who parred three holes and collected eight bogeys to carry her round.
“I defeated my own head,” she said of what went right. “I get really frustrated and then it worsens my game. I just had to let it go and ... I kept a positive mindset. I played really well today.”
Twin Lakes’ Sam Hornung shot a 109 to adjust the Indians scoring quartet — Kyser, Roth, Hornung and Sternfeldt — to a 422. Winamac’s top four was Keira Bucinski (94), Janet Calfee (105), Lowry (109) and Wentz (118).
“I’m so excited,” Puterbaugh said. “You girls shined today.”
Retorted Roth, “We didn’t shine. We sparkled.”
As the players laughed, a bystander raised his eyebrows.
“Chad, at practices, he always goes, ‘You don’t sweat. You sparkle,’” Roth said, to more laughter.
Tri-County’s Brettnacher reaches regional
As Chloe Brettnacher walked off the course Monday, someone asked her how her round went.
The senior put one thumb down, stuck her tongue out and offered “Thhhhhppppttttt!”
Her 102 wasn’t her best effort, she later admitted, but it was enough to keep her golfing for another few days.
Brettnacher’s score ended being the second-best non-team-related qualifying score for Saturday’s Lafayette Jefferson Regional. It was two better than both Pioneer’s Hailey Gotschall and Rensselaer Central’s Cami Geleotte, who faced off in a playoff for the final individual spot.
“Honestly did not think it was going to get me through, but I’m excited that I did,” she said.
Brettnacher bogeyed nine holes and parred one to offset a 10 on the par-5 No. 14. She suffered through a migraine during her round, which “made it very hard to see” at certain points. Eventually, it dissipated.
“I was struggling,” she added. “I would just focus on the next hole — ‘a couple more and you can do it.’”
Brettnacher transferred back to Tri-County after a couple years at Harrison, and has experience playing the Battle Ground golf course the regional is set at.
“I’m very, very happy to see Chloe advance,” head coach Mark Legler said. “I expected her to, but she did not play very well. Fortunately, a lot of the field didn’t play too well, either, to the point she was able to advance.”
Tri-County shot a 470, with Jasmine Culp posting a 108 and Addison Douglass and Addison Ewen each shooting a 130.