FORT WAYNE – Chestnut Hills Golf Club is a different kind of challenge for golfers because it’s not especially long but can be awfully tricky. It’s the kind of course some golfers won’t pull out a driver the entire round, favoring avoiding the trouble over going for the long ball.
That’s a routine the Bishop Dwenger boys team knows well heading into the Canterbury Sectional today at the par-72 course.
We’ve just basically got to stay away from big numbers, Saints coach Dave Scudder said. We’ve got to keep the ball in play. You don’t have to hit driver all the time. We played there twice this year, and the wind was blowing one direction during one match and the other the next. It really makes a difference out there. And the rain (this week) may have softened up the course a little, which will be a factor.
The Saints know their stuff at Chestnut Hills. They won this sectional last year with a 310, as Callahan Elzey led them with a medalist 74 with the yardage less than 6,500. The Saints went on to finish third at the regional at Stonehenge Golf Club in Warsaw and tied for seventh at the state finals, best among northeast Indiana teams.
The ones that we’re playing this week, four of our five have played in the state finals, Scudder said. They know what to look for and what to expect in the postseason.
The Saints have won sectionals six of the last eight years. Their lineup today will include Elzey, a sophomore, senior Spencer Gillig, sophomore Patrick Allgeier, junior John Hope and sophomore James Wagner, all of whom had nine-hole averages of 39 or better during the regular season.
The Saints, who are the only area team ranked in the state at No. 6, were 14-1 in dual matches. Their lone loss was to Carroll.
The only team to beat them in an 18-hole invitational was NorthWood. The Saints have regularly shot about 300 in 18-hole matches.
I don’t think they put pressure on themselves, Scudder said of his players. They’re anticipating playing well and hopefully getting back to state. But you have to get by sectionals and regionals, and in that, we’ll have to do it at Stonehenge, which is a difficult course.
Today’s sectional includes NHC champion Homestead, host Canterbury and Bishop Luers.
Warsaw, the only other area team to reach the state finals last year, finishing last among the 15 competing teams, plays host to a sectional today at Rozella Ford.
The East Noble Sectional today at Noble Hawk Golf Links in Kendallville, features the Knights, Carroll and Leo. At Timber Ridge Golf Course in Bluffton, Bellmont is the likely favorite coming off its victory in the NHC tournament.
On Saturday, West Noble will take part in the sectional at Black Squirrel Golf Club in Goshen.