Seymour sophomore named Golfer of the Year

While his season came to an end in the sectional his freshman year, Owen Marshall made it a point to attend the regional tournament as a spectator.

He had a teammate, Tyler Bullard, in the field to support, and also wanted to get a taste of the next phase of the postseason.

Bullard worked as the Owls’ No. 1 golfer in 2018, but would graduate from the program after his round.

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Once Bullard completed his card, Marshall’s goals for his sophomore season were set: he planned on taking the No. 1 spot and making it to regional.

This spring, Marshall accomplished both of those top tasks and more.

Marshall, who received the Owls’ most improved award as a freshman, dropped three strokes off his 9-hole average and seven strokes for 18 in one year.

The regional-qualifier led Jackson County with averages of 40.2 and 80.7 for 9- and 18-hole competitions.

Due to all of his accomplishments this past spring, The Tribune has named Marshall the 2019 Jackson County Boys Golfer of the Year.

In the summer leading up to his sophomore year, Marshall spent hours working on his game.

“I just worked on my short game a lot. I needed to get smarter,” Marshall said. “ I would play at Shadowood and Otter Creek (Columbus) a lot. I also competed in a lot of summer tournaments. I worked with my dad the most, I’ve always golfed with him.”

Owls head golf coach Jim Hoffman said he knew that he had a good group of young golfers coming up a few years ago, and that Marshall’s skill hasn’t surprised him.

“We watch these kids, we see them in seventh and eighth grade. The kids that are out here, we see them all the time,” Hoffman said. “We try to be interactive with all our youth. We want them to know who we are and what we’re about. We knew that Owen, Ethan (Dippold) and Conner (Hinton) were all going to be pretty good.”

Going into the 2019 season, Hoffman approached his sophomore golfers.

“In the beginning of the year, I said, ‘hey, you’re my leaders and I’m relying on you guys because this is basically your team now for the next three years.’ Not many have the opportunity to do that,” Hoffman said.

Marshall worked as the Owls’ top golfer in the regular season, but really started to show his potential in the the final few weeks.

“I just started to put the whole round together,” Marshall said. “There were some tourneys where I would hit the ball well but couldn’t putt or chip. At the end, I just started to get everything to work together.”

After shooting a 79 at the Providence Invitational, Marshall tied for third at the North-South of 40 Invitational at Oak Tree Golf Course with a 3-over-par 75.

Marshall followed up the best round of his career with a 78 at the Bloomington North Sectional at Bloomington Country Club. That 78 tied for sixth, and was the top regional-qualifying score for individuals on non-advancing teams.

At the Providence Regional, at Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville, Marshall finished his season with a 79.

“The mental side, in the lats three or four weeks, was the amazing part,” Hoffman said. “We stress that so much, and might be too hard on him at times. However, in the long run, I think it will help. I think his rebound — from going from a bad hole to making the next one a good one — really improved. He curved that. He would have a double-bogey and then have a birdie or par. That’s really where he matured. Hid decision-making was a lot better.”

Marshall and the Owls have a new goal set for 2020.

“Next year, we’re trying to go to state,” Marshall said.

If he keeps putting in the work, Hoffman feels that the sky is the limit for Marshall.

“He just has a really natural swing,” Hoffman said. “He is fluid and long being 6-2 or 6-3. It’s a nice, power swing. He also has some finesse around the greens. He’s working on his putting, and will be really good the next couple of years.

“This (season) was the spurt he needed. We were all waiting to see it. He’s getting it now. He feels like he belongs with the top golfers in the state. I think good things are going to come.”

This summer, Marshall plans on competing in several tournaments while also putting in the work on his own.

“We’re going to try to keep getting better at everything,” Marshall said. “Tiger Woods doesn’t even have a perfect swing. We’re going to keep pursuing perfection.”

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Joining Marshall on the 2019 All-Jackson County Boys Golf team:

Ethan Dippold, Seymour, Sophomore

9/18 averages: 42.2 & 85.6

Honors: 1x medalist

Tom Hoffmeier, Seymour, Junior

9/18 averages: 44 & 87

Honors: 1x medalist, SHS most improved

Conner Hinton, Seymour, Sophomore

9/18 average: 47 & 87

Honors: 1x medalist

Jacob Keith, Trinity Lutheran, Senior

9/18 average: 40.6 & 84.3

Honors: TL MVP

Mark Shoemaker, Trinity Lutheran, Senior

9/18 averages: 42.4 & 89.0

Honors: IHSGCA Academic All State, TL Cougar Award.

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2019 Jackson County Boys Golfer of the Year

Owen Marshall, Seymour, Sophomore

9/18 averages: 40.2 & 80.7

Honors: regional qualifier, 2x medalist, lowest average in county for nine and 18 holes.