Braves senior golfer earns all-conference honors, helps team place fifth


For the third and final time of his high school career, Brayton Hattabaugh drove, chipped and putted his way around Wooded View Golf Course for the Mid-Southern Conference Tournament.

Starting on the back nine Saturday, the Brownstown Central senior was solid with a 2-over-par 38, including a birdie on the 15th hole.

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Despite a few struggles on the front nine, he carded a 41 to finish the day with an 8-over 79.

His career-best score at the course gave him all-MSC honors for the second year in a row and helped the Braves place fifth in the 10-team field with 379. Silver Creek won the MSC title with 330.

“It feels great I made top five for my final year here,” Hattabaugh said. “I started off really good. I was hitting all of my irons where I wanted to go. It’s just when I got onto the front side for my second nine, I struggled with everything.”

As a sophomore, he shot 98 at Wooded View, and then last year, his round of 83 gave him all-MSC honors for the first time and put him in seventh place overall.

On Saturday, he placed fourth out of 47 golfers and broke 80 at Wooded View for the first time. Only four golfers shot in the 70s, including MSC champion Joey Wiseman of Corydon Central with 74.

The weekend before, Hattabaugh shot a career-best 74 at Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington.

Braves coach Brandon Allman said he is proud of the senior leader’s recent rounds.

“We’re talking about a kid that came in as a freshman and really struggled to break 100, and all of a sudden now, he’s breaking 80,” Allman said. “It’s really special for our younger guys to see that hard work does pay off.”

Allman said Hattabaugh has put a lot of time and effort into his golf game.

“But probably more than anything else, he’s starting to become more confident in himself and believing that he can do it now that he has seen that,” Allman said. “Hopefully, he keeps it rolling, and hopefully, he will have a chance to make it out of sectional.”

While Hattabaugh was familiar with Wooded View, it was new to the other four Braves playing in Saturday’s tournament.

This is the first year of playing golf for seniors Jalen Curry and Cole Forrest, first year of playing in varsity tournaments for sophomore Chayse Shell and first year of high school golf for freshman Lucas VonDielingen.

The Braves had a practice round at Wooded View earlier last week.

“The greens were just really aerated when we came down here, so we just had to get used to the greens,” Hattabaugh said. “I know this course from playing it before, and for the team, because none of them had seen it before, they just needed to figure out where everything was.”

On Saturday, VonDielingen shot 93 and was the only other Brave to break 100. Allman was impressed that VonDielingen had his best round of the season given that he played without his driver because the head of it flew off on the driving range before the match.

“That just shows what I have tried to tell them all year is you don’t have to have a driver, especially on this golf course. You’ve just got to keep it in play out here,” Allman said. “I’m just really proud of him. I think gradually as the year has gone on, he has gotten better and better.”

Forrest was next for Brownstown with 101, while Shell had 106, and Curry finished with 107.

Allman said that was Curry’s best round of the year. In other tournaments this season, he shot in the 120s and 130s.

“We’re moving in the right direction, which is a good thing,” Allman said. “That’s what I just want to keep seeing is improvement. 379 is our lowest team score of the year, so it’s nice to keep seeing us go down.”

The Braves have three nine-hole matches before sectional June 1 at Bloomington Country Club. That will be a new venue for the team because the sectional course in recent years, Indiana University Golf Course, is being redone.

“We have not played there since I was in school,” Allman said of Bloomington South’s home course. “We used to play them in nine-hole matches, but they only play 18-hole matches now. I haven’t been there since I was in high school, so it has been a while because it’s a private golf course.”