HITTING THE LINKS: Jackson County golfers compete in sectional


Waiting outside the clubhouse with his teammates, Seymour High School senior Tyler Bullard stood and grinned as the final scores rolled in.

Turning in a 14-over-par 86 (44-42), Bullard had punched his card to the next round of the postseason.

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Led by Bullard, the Owls finished fourth at the Bloomington North Sectional on Monday, combining for 361 strokes.

This year’s sectional was moved to Bloomington Country Club. The usual location, Indiana University’s course, is currently under construction.

The top three teams, and individuals on non-advancing teams, moved on to Thursday’s Providence Regional, which will be hosted by Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville.

Bloomington South were the champions with 324 strokes, Bedford North Lawrence was second at 330 and Bloomington North rounded out the top three at 344. Trinity Lutheran was sixth in the 11-team field at 380 and Brownstown Central placed ninth at 432.

Owen Marshall and Ethan Dippold followed Bullard by carding 90s, Hunter Browning shot 95 and Connor Hinton totaled 100 for the Owls.

Owls coach Jim Hoffman said Bullard kept it together mentally throughout the tournament.

“When he made mistakes, he rebounded,” Hoffman said. “He didn’t let it carry over and effect his net whole. We’ve been working on the mental side of it. He’s a great young man that has been great for our team the past four years. I’m glad to see him have success towards the end.”

Bullard said he’s excited to get at least one more round in as a member of the Owls’ team.

“I hit my irons pretty well today,” he said. “The course was semi-tough. The greens played really fast, which made it a lot more difficult than when we came and played our practice round.

“It means a lot. This is my last year here. To keep going on here after sectionals is great.”

Playing three freshmen at sectional, Hoffman is excited for the future.

“The boys did well,” Hoffman said. “The greens were really, really fast. It was a very beautiful course but it was windy. It blew some high scores in. The freshmen came through. I would of liked to see both seniors (Bullard and Browning) make it out.

“As a team, it bodes well for the future. The future is bright. We don’t’ want fourth We played well considering the conditions.”

While Trinity Lutheran coach Gregg Personett expected slightly slimmer scores at sectional, he didn’t fault the effort for his team for the results.

“I thought we would shoot around a 370 or 375,” Personett said.”It was a little higher than that, but I think this course plays seven or eight shots tougher on greens alone. I thought it was a beautiful golf course that played well, but the greens were exceptionally fast today. Our short game really hurt us today.

“I thought all of our players played to the best of their potential today. They really gave me the best they had today.”

Jacob Keith led Trinity with a 91 while Mark Shoemaker had 95, Ryland Nierman shot a 96, Noah Criswell carded 98 and Josiah Foster totaled 113 for the Cougars.

Criswell is the Cougars’ lone senior.

“Noah really turned into a leader,” Personett said. “He has been an inspiration to a lot of kids. He’s one of the most well-mannered young men I’ve ever met in my life.”

Brayton Hattabaugh — the only BCHS golfer to score under 100 strokes — topped the Braves’ scorecard with a 90.

Hattabaugh, a senior, said he talked to the Indiana University Kokomo coach at the sectional, and the school would like him on their team.

Karl Pence was next for the Braves with a 112, followed by Reid Campbell (113), Cole Forrest (117) and Chayse Shell (118).

“Cole and Karl, both of them were first year golfers,” Braves coach Brandon Allman said. “It was a joy to have them. Brayton Hattabaugh, we will miss him. He was our No. 1 all year long and No. 1 last year, too. A lot of younger kids saw how hard (Hattabaugh) worked on the golf course. He didn’t play his best today, but, with golf, you have those days. He had a couple of really good rounds this year. We’re going to miss him a lot.”

Allman said his golfers didn’t have a lot of postseason experience coming into sectional.

“We had four kids playing in their first-ever sectional,” Allman said. “Karl Pence actually played his first 18-hold match ever. The course played difficult. I think the kids actually had more difficulty with the wind more than anything else.”

Crothersville had three golfers at sectional, so they did not score as a team.

Will Amick led the Tigers with a 105, Brandon Riley shot 136 and Quinten Keasler totaled 155.