Seymour, Brownstown tee off golf season at Shadowood


Golf coaches Jim Hoffman of Seymour and Brent Hattabaugh of Brownstown Central said they were encouraged by the performances of their team in the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood Golf Course on Saturday.

Guerin Catholic ran away with the team title by posting a score of 300. Bloomington North was second at 340, Bedford North Lawrence edged Columbus North 345-346 for third. Columbus East was fifth with 353, the Owls placed sixth with 360 and the Braves were seventh with 377.

The tournament didn’t start until 10:25 a.m. because of frost on the greens.

“The sun came out. The weather was OK. We had a little breeze,” Hoffman said. “Overall, it was a good day. We shot 360, and 350 was where we wanted to be. We had some nerves going.”

Hoffman said one player who was nervous was Oliver Kardos. He shot 93.

“We had Oliver playing his first match ever in the No. 1 spot, playing with a kid that is going to Notre Dame on a full ride. Once (Kardos) got himself under control, he did a little better. He’ll be down 10 to 13 strokes,” Hoffman said.

Connor McNeely, the No. 1 golfer for Guerin, shot a one-under-par 71. Guerin had the three low medalists in the tournament.

“They’re No. 2 in the state for a reason,” Hoffman said of the Golden Eagles.

Manny Fontanez was low for the Owls with 46-41-87.

“I had a little trouble on the front nine, then I started to pick it up toward the middle. Toward the end of the back nine, I started to improve and I finished pretty strong,” he said.

“What carried me today was my irons. My driving was off toward the beginning, but then I got it back together as I slowed down my swing. I kept it smooth, and as I kept going, everything else just smoothed out.”

He is looking for improvement.

“For today, it being cold, I’m happy with what I shot, but I know I can do better,” he said. “I’ll probably be working on my driving. Right now, I want to focus on my form, keeping it consistent, then let my strength come in and take over.”

Next for the Owls were Noah Surface with an 89 and Ty Stuckwisch with a 91.

“I had some pleasant surprises of Manny, Noah and Ty bringing in some good scores today. They are probably ahead of where I thought they would be, so that’s a bonus,” he said. “When we get Oliver down where he should be, I think our team will be in the 320,330 range, and I think we’ll get there pretty quick.

“The mental part is always the hardest part of the game for us. We’re doing a lot better on that part. If we have a bad hole, we’re not carrying it over to the next hole, so I’m seeing a lot of progress from the mental side.”

Hattabaugh said he saw positives from the Braves.

“The five that played last year, they played today and we shot 36 strokes better than what we shot last year, so that’s an improvement, so we are getting better,” he said. “We started on the back nine today, and it was cold and windy this morning. We played a lot better on the front nine. Score-wise, it was a lot better.”

He said the short game needs work.

“We’ve still got to work on chipping and putting. We lost a lot of strokes out there with our short game. We’re going to work on 100 yards and in,” he said. “The greens here are hard and fast, and we’ve just got to get used to that. It was the fact that it would hit and roll off the back, and here, you don’t want to roll off the back.”

Connor Gwin tied teammates Chandler Stahl and Jaren Cunningham for low scores for the Braves with 94.

“My drives off the tee were pretty good. Mainly, it was my distance,” he said. “I’ve got to work on my accuracy. I think the front nine is not as challenging, and the fairways aren’t as tight.

“Most of the time,I was hitting the greens with my irons. The wind bothered me a couple times. It was difficult to hit some tee shots more than others. I’m going to work on my short game from 100 yards in, and my putting. I had two birdies. My putting was pretty good today.”

The Owls will next golf at Southwestern (Hanover) on Tuesday, while the Braves will host Columbus North at Hickory Hills on Tuesday.

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