ELKHART – Tim Ahlersmeyer picked a pretty good time to win his first high school golf event Saturday.
The Warsaw junior led the charge as the No. 6 Tigers rolled to another Northern Lakes Conference Tournament title at the Bent Oak Golf Club.
Ahlersmeyer carded a one-over par round of 73 to earn individual medalist honors in the eight-team event on a sultry Saturday.
Warsaw, which capped off its third straight undefeated season Thursday night, shot 304 as a team to easily outdistance runner-up NorthWood (323) for its fourth consecutive NLC championship. Wawasee finished in eighth place with a 343.
This day belonged to Ahlersmeyer, the No. 3 man in the loaded Tiger lineup. A steady round which included a pair of birdies enabled him to edge out teammate Tyler Ostrom by one shot for medalist accolades.
“It’s nice to finally win my first high school event,” said Ahlersmeyer. “My confidence level has been up all year and it was nice to get a round together today. Winning medalist just came with it.
“I was pretty consistent today after a slow start. It was just a steady round, but it could have been a lot lower. My driver was good and my short game picked me up today.”
Ahlersmeyer went 36 on the front nine and then 37 on the back for his plus one round on the par-72, 6,504-yard layout.
“We won as a team and I’m not disappointed at all,” Ostrom said. “I want to do the best I can to help this team succeed. This is five tourneys we’ve won this year and coach put that out there as a goal for us. I’m excited for Tim. This should be a great confidence boost for him.
“It was just an off day for me. But I’m not worried. The team won and I’ll move on. I just putted bad today (17 two putts). The putter has always been my strength, but it was just one of those days with it. I hit the ball good (15 greens) and my irons saved me. My game is not good enough yet and I haven’t hit the ball well, but I have two weeks until sectional to work on it.”
Junior Jon Schram, Warsaw’s No. 2 man, shot a 76, freshman Jonny Hollar 81 and senior Bennett Hollar 82 for the Tigers.
Warsaw assistant coach Tad Nieter directed the team Saturday as head coach Ben Barkey was out of town due to a school-related conference he had to attend.
“Tim was huge for us today,” said Nieter, a former standout golfer for the Tigers then at Grace College. “It finally clicked. He had hit the ball great all week. He just played a very steady round today.
“A 304 here is okay. It’s not bad at all. We would have liked to come in a little lower, but we had a rough start today. As a team, we’re very close to getting it all together. It’s still a process and we’re making progress getting towards where we want and need to be as a team.”
Warsaw had capped its perfect regular season on Thursday by shooting 140 (led by Schram’s 33) at Stonehenge to beat NorthWood (157) and Goshen (174). No. 1 Derek Zurcher led Wawasee with an 84. The Warriors, who finished 1-6 in the regular-season portion of NLC play, got an 85 from Tristen Atwood, 86 from Dylan Cousins, 88 from Luke Jackson and 89 from Maclain Herr.
Wawasee had shot a 181 Thursday in an NLC match at Bent Oak with Concord and Plymouth.
“For the most part, we improved on the bad holes we had here on Thursday and that’s what we wanted to do,” said Wawasee coach Steve Coverstone. “The guys did a good job on that.
“They played better on the back nine today too. We improved from Thursday, it’s just that we didn’t have a really low score. We had a lot of good holes, it’s just that our bad holes were really bad.”
Honored as All-NLC selections were the top six individuals Saturday in Ahlersmeyer, Ostrom and Schram of Warsaw, Nate Kolter of Plymouth, Austin Shaffer of Goshen and Dylan Gessinger of NorthWood. Also picked by league coaches as all-conference were Bennett Hollar of Warsaw and Payton Grubbs of NorthWood. Honorable mention choices were Zurcher of Wawasee, Jonny Hollar of Warsaw, Alex Happer of Concord and Logan McBride of Northridge.
Brad Duerksen of NorthWood was tabbed by his peers as NLC Coach of the Year.
At Bent Oak (par 72)
Warsaw 304, NorthWood 323, Elkhart Memorial 326, Concord 326, Northridge 327, Goshen 337, Plymouth 342, Wawasee 343.
Warsaw (304): Tyler Ostrom 74, Jon Schram 76, Tim Ahlersmeyer 73, Bennett Hollar 82, Jonny Hollar 81.
NorthWood (323): Payton Grubbs 78, Dylan Gessinger 77, Logan Kauffman 83, Ryan Thompson 86, Braydon Glaser 85.
Elkhart Memorial (326): Noah Strati 82, Drew Stutz 85, Frank Iavagnilio 79, Nick Foy 85, Branden Sherwood 80.
Concord (326): Alex Happer 78, Ryan Bontrager 86, Tim Johnson 79, A.J. Sandlin 83, Peyton Kime 86.
Northridge (327): Logan McBride 81, Rhett Holaway 79, Will Erekson 84, Tom Morrison 83, Andrew Edlund 91.
Goshen (337): Austin Shaffer 77, Alex Hartsough 89, Paul Johnson 90, Kenneth Shields 83, Joel Moyer 88.
Plymouth (342): Nate Kolter 76, John Ruff 85, Ben Schenk 87, Zach Craft 96, Kurt Corsbie 94.
Wawasee (343): Derek Zurcher 84, Maclain Herr 89, Dylan Cousins 86, Tristen Atwood 85, Luke Jackson 88.
Note: Memorial takes third place by virtue of the tiebreaker on its fifth man score.