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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:00 am

State Golf

Saint wins individual state title

Dwenger's Ryan city's first boys champion in 77 years

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

CARMEL – Bishop Dwenger's Logan Ryan became Fort Wayne's first medalist at the boys golf state championship since 1941 as he won a playoff hole over defending champion Noah Gillard of Center Grove at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel on Wednesday.

“It's nice to finally have something, to win something,” he said. “I've been zip, I haven't won anything. I've worked my (butt) off for this, and I'm really happy.”

On the opening playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Ryan landed on the green about 20 feet from the hole, on his third shot. Gillard landed in the sand on his third shot.

Ryan was unable to make his first putt but finished the hole at even par. Gillard got himself out of the trap and missed his putt for par.

“The strategy was I was going to hit 3-wood,” Ryan said. “I was going to play it safe, I was going to lay up. I was going to force him to make the error. I was going to throw a wedge in there close, make a birdie, but I wasn't going to rip-drive it off the tee and try to make a birdie that way.”

Ryan finished the second round at 1-over 73 to complete the tournament at 1-over 145. He finished his round nearly two hours before Gillard managed to birdie No. 18 to tie Ryan atop the leaderboard.

“I was nervous,” Ryan said. “I finished up, I thought I needed to make birdie on the last hole in order to give myself a chance and I ended up making a par.

“I was sitting in (the clubhouse), we were trying to eat some lunch and watching the scores come in. I was two off the lead, one off the lead, tied for the lead, food hadn't come out yet, so I decided to head out to the range and warm up.”

Ryan was four strokes off the lead after Tuesday's first round and felt as if he needed a low round to have a chance, but he stayed consistent, played aggressive and mistakes he made during his round didn't matter.

“I did feel distant coming into today,” he said. “I felt like I needed a really low round, but with how hard the course was playing, you saw some higher scores.

“I was able to play well enough to sneak in there, and I think that was the biggest thing.

“It was aiming at flagsticks, making some mistakes I probably shouldn't have. I was playing very aggressive and trying to make everything I hit.”

Elmhurst's Fred Link was the last boys player from a Fort Wayne school to win an individual championship, accomplishing the feat in 1941 at Speedway Golf Course.

From the area, Huntington North's Jon Oliver won in 1997, Columbia City's Mike Schumaker in 2000 and Warsaw's Tyler Ostrom in 2011.

The Saints finished ninth at 69-over 645 after a second-day 327. Luke Miller shot an 80 for a two-day 159, tied for 40th; Corey Ryan and Ariel DeLuna tied for 78th, each with an 87 second round and 171 total; Dan Kimes tied for 80th with an 89 and 172.

Carmel beat out Center Grove by one stroke for the team state championship, 601-602.

Individually, Homestead's Garrett Willis finished with a two-day 3-over 147 after shooting a 74 in the second round, tying for sixth place.

“Overall, I can't really be upset with the way I played this week,” Willis said. “I did a lot of good things with the way I drove the ball well. I didn't miss short-side that much. I did a great job playing form the sand today.”

The Spartans' Braden Kattman shot 75 on the second day, much better than his first-day 89. He finished tied for 58th at 164.

Bishop Luers' Stephen Bolan finished tied for 66th with a second-round 84 and an overall 166.