By Gregg A. Sims
MONTGOMERY — Thursday’s golf regional at Country Oaks Golf Club didn’t end with the results the Washington Hatchets were seeking.
The Hatchets placed 14th in a field of 18 teams while shooting a team score of 338.
But this Thursday may not be the day the Hatchets are anticipating. That day may arrive next June.
Clay Hatton shot 78 to pace Washington at the event on Washington’s home course.
Cam Lancaster and Tyler Stoll each had rounds of 85. Connor Brown and Devan Rude each shot 90.
“We are better than these numbers indicate, but you get what you get in golf, and that’s what we got today,” Washington coach Bill Ricke said. “I’m proud of Clay shooting a 78. It’s the first time he has scored in the 70s on this golf course. That was a real good score.”
Rude is the only graduating senior off the five-member team that competed Thursday, and with additional players coming for next season, the Hatchets may have their eyes on 2014 as a year to escape the regional field as a team.
“We hope to,” Ricke said of those prospects. “Experience is good as long as they practice and play in the summer. If not, it could be another trip to the regional. The kids are committed. They are going to play this summer, and we¹re hoping that we can get out next spring.”
Avon won the team championship with a score of 296. Evansville Memorial shot
301 for second.
Terre Haute North and Brownsburg each had team scores of 304, but North made it to the state field at the Legends of Indiana Golf Club next Tuesday in Franklin with a lower individual score from its fifth player.
Evansville Central’s Dylan Meyer was the regional medalist with a three-under par round of 69.
Landon Smith (Evansville North) and Luke Brotherton (Greencastle) each shot
70 and Martinsville’s Baylor Payne shot 71 to make state as individual players.
Brady Sappenfield of Mooresville defeated Vincennes Rivet’s Tom Webster for the fifth and final individual position after each shot even-par rounds of 72.
With four starters returning, Lancaster and Stoll are juniors, Hatton is a sophomore and Brown a freshman, Ricke believes his team has the potential, and experience, for a good season next spring.
“Cam had a tough back nine (Washington started its day off the 10th tee), but he bounced back with his back nine today and had a pretty decent score,” Ricke said. “Tyler not all that bad with his experience level.”
The regional was expanded this spring to 18 team from the usual 15. Country Oaks had not originally planned to have the regional with added teams coming from the central part of the state.
The facility learned the IHSAA was bringing the tournament back during the golf season, and Ricke believed the event went well.
“The athletic department and the staff here at Country Oaks did a great job,” Ricke said.
“They did a great job with the organization, and Max Nickless (the club’s
superintendent) and his staff did a wonderful job on the course. It was in tip-top shape, and that’s been hard to do with the rain we’ve had.”