FORT WAYNE – Bishop Dwenger boys golf coach Dave Scudder had a simple message for his team heading into today’s state finals in Franklin at The Legends of Indiana: Avoid the big numbers.
As evidence of the importance of this, he needed only to point to the regional Thursday at Stonehenge Golf Club in Warsaw when one Dwenger player made a quadruple bogey and another four-putted a green.
The Saints finished second with a 308 behind Northwood’s 305 in the regional. If the Saints had avoided those hiccups, they might have won the regional.
That’s what hurt us – not avoiding the big numbers – and why we didn’t win, said Scudder, whose sixth-ranked Saints won the SAC title and took a sectional championship for the seventh time in nine years.
You just have to make sure you avoid big numbers.
Still, the regional performance was typical Dwenger as all five players had sub-80 scores. James Wagner shot a 4-over 75. Spencer Gillig posted a 77. Patrick Allgeier, Callahan Elzey and John Hope all added 78s.
This group is experienced, as all except Wagner have played in the state finals.
We probably need to hit some more greens (in regulation), that would be nice, Wagner said. And we need to hit a little better and chip a little better.
This is Dwenger’s fifth appearance at the state finals, and they’ve gone three years in a row.
The Saints finished 10th in 2012 with a two-day total of 63-over 639. They tied for seventh last year at 28-over 604.
The key for the Saints is to make sure they stay consistent; normally the score they throw out would be better than any other team’s score.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to do something like that at state, Wagner said.
NHC-champion Homestead, which features a lineup of Chris Eigner, Nick Myers, Alex Cunningham, Ellis Yoder and Eric Martin, will also be participating at The Legends.
It’s the Spartans’ eighth appearance and first since 2011.
We just need to keep improving and even play better, post better scores, said Yoder, who had a 76 in the Stonehenge regional, where the Spartans combined for a third-place 310.
It’s been a great season for us.
Northeast Indiana hasn’t had a team champion since Warsaw in 2005, and no Allen County team has won since Northrop in 1984. The last area individual champion was Warsaw’s Tyler Ostrom in 2011. The Allen County drought dates back to Elmhurst’s Fred Link in 1941.
Heritage’s Nick Bienz and Canterbury’s Michael Brothers are the only individual qualifiers from northeast Indiana this year.