Jackson County golfers make most of regional experience


HENRYVILLE — Three Jackson County golfers hit the links at Champions Pointe Golf Course for regionals, and they all shot in the mid-80s.

Trinity Lutheran’s Jacob Sabotin shot an 83, Brownstown Central’s Chandler Stahl shot an 88 and Seymour’s Oliver Kardos shot an 85.

Sabotin and Stahl were in the first group to tee off on Thursday, and they both made the most of the 4-plus hours spent on the course.

“The last five holes, we were all just talking a lot and having fun, so I said I was gonna go for it jokingly (on hole 18), and swung as hard as I could and ended up with a pretty good shot,” Sabotin said after he finished the 18th hole, which he birdied.

Sabotin felt he played pretty even, but a lot better on the back nine. He shot 42 on the front and 41 on the back.

“Average. I had some good shots, some bad shots,” he said. “The front nine wasn’t great. The back nine was a little better.”

He said there are a lot of “hidden hazards” on Champions Pointe, so if you think you have a safe shot, sometimes that isn’t the case.

Sabotin became the third player in Trinity Lutheran High School history to play in regionals.

“I just think it’s pretty cool,” he said. “There’s a lot of people before me that weren’t able to get out of sectionals who really deserved it. I’m just thankful I got the opportunity to do this.”

Sabotin graduated from TLHS last week, and in addition to golf, he also played basketball and soccer.

“All good memories, just competition and playing with teammates and all the friendships that were made,” Sabotin said on his time with Trinity.

Sabotin will head to Ball State University in the fall to study property management.

As for Stahl, the junior was pleased with his play on Thursday.

“Pretty good for not knowing the course that well,” he said. “I just tried to be myself and have fun.”

Stahl had good performances on most of the par 5s, but on hole two, which was a par 3, Stahl hit a seven iron to get on the green, then made his putt to get an eagle.

That was an area Stahl felt he got better at as the season went on.

“I started playing great around the green,” he said.

Golf is the main sport for Stahl, who said his dad always took him to the course when he was around 3 years old.

Stahl said he’ll likely play a lot of golf this summer before school starts up again.

For Kardos, he wrapped up playing Thursday a little disappointed. After shooting a 73 at sectionals on Monday, Kardos expected a better round at Champions Pointe.

“I was not expecting to play like this,” he said. “I had five doubles overall, which is not what you want to see. I think the pressure got to me.”

However, for someone who didn’t play competitive golf prior to this year, Kardos thinks he’ll look back on this season and be pleased with how it turned out — getting to regionals as as individual.

“I’m proud of myself that I got to regionals in my first three months of competitive golf,” he said. “I think it’s pretty good.”

Kardos, an exchange student, is going back home to Slovakia this summer. He said his family members play golf, so he’ll go out and play with them when he gets the chance.

Kardos enjoyed his one year at Seymour, and he has a bitter-sweet feeling about leaving.

“It’s mixed emotions,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going home to see my family and friends, but also I’ve had friends established here.”

Kardos was a junior at Seymour, but in Slovakia, they do five years of high school, so he still has two years left back home.

After he graduates in Slovakia, Kardos said, “We’ll see what happens after high school. I might even come back here.”

He felt like the prep sports experience at Seymour — playing soccer in the fall and golf in the spring — was a great opportunity, especially since Slovakia doesn’t have high school sports.

“Oh I loved it,” Kardos said. “It was amazing. The high school sports were awesome. We don’t have high school sports at home, but it keeps you in the community and you meet friends.”

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