Experience shouldn’t be much of a problem for the area golfers at the state meet today and Wednesday at The Legends in Franklin.
Two teams – Warsaw and Bishop Dwenger – will be playing, while Heritage senior Carter Dornseif, East Noble junior Michael Sharp and Carroll senior Stephen Shupert will be competing as individuals.
Warsaw, which won last week’s Warsaw Regional at Stonehenge on a fifth-man tiebreaker with Triton after shooting a 305, will be in its fifth straight state finals. The streak is tied for the longest active one in the state.
Tigers senior Jon Schram hit an eagle putt on the final hole at the regional to pull Warsaw into the tie with Triton and allowed the Tigers to head to the state finals as a regional champion instead of runner-up.
It is kind a bitter taste when you are paired with the second-place guy (at state), Schram said of the difference of finishing first and second but still advancing.
Schram, who was the regional medalist with a 2-under 69, tied for eighth as an individual last year at the state meet.
I did not play my best golf last year and wound up eighth, Schram said. That course has a lot of birdie holes if you play the right way. You can get in a lot of trouble if you don’t play correctly, so hopefully I can figure that out.
Also playing for Warsaw are seniors Evan Cultice and Tim Ahlersmeyer, junior Will Petro and sophomore Jonny Hollar.
Bishop Dwenger’s 309 was good for third at the regional for the final spot in the state finals out of the field at Stonehenge. Despite having a young roster with a senior (Casey Cooney), junior (Spencer Gillig), sophomore (John Hope) and two freshmen (Callahan Elzey and Pat Allgeier), the Saints have experience at The Legends having already played the course in Franklin this spring.
The experience (for the young guys) down there is going to help down the road, Dwenger coach Dave Scudder said. They have played enough golf that they are not going to be overly intimidated. The golf course isn’t like (Stonehenge), it is more wide open. Everybody is going to be good, though, but hopefully they can keep their composure and settle down after the first couple of shots.
Sharp tied for 28th last year and tied for fifth as a freshman. I have a lot of confidence going down there, Sharp said. It would have been nice to go as a team, but I am happy to be returning to The Legends.
Despite making their first trips to the state finals, Dornseif and Shupert are seniors and have been valuable leaders on their teams this season.
They are pretty excited for me, Dornseif said of his teammates. We had a pretty good season and set a lot of Heritage records, and I am proud of the team. I am bringing them with me down there to state.
Carroll coach Justin Shippy said he wishes the entire Chargers’ team could be playing at state but likes that Shupert will be able to focus on his own game for two days.
He thrives on pressure and likes to know where he stands a lot, Shippy said. But he is ready to go. If we could have found a couple extra shots at regional, we would all be down here.