As the sun beamed down and a gentle breeze blessed the 72 golfers on the course, Warsaw went out and took care of business, winning the regional title with a blistering 308. Fort Wayne Dwenger were second at 322 and Northridge grabbed the third automatic qualifying spot for the state finals with a 323. Triton, which qualified for the regional by placing second at the Warsaw Sectional, were eight back of Northridge at 331.
A model of consistency, Warsaw posted four of the top individual scores at the regional. Tyler Ostrom was up to his old tricks, firing a one-over 36 on the back nine to post a 75 on the afternoon, which was tied for third-best overall. Tim Ahlersmeyer was about as level as could be, shooting a 40 on the front side and dropping that total by three on the back to finish with a 77. Jon Schram, who started with five straight bogeys to begin his morning, rallied with a huge back side, shooting a 36 to also card a 77.
“It was a really rough open, the first five for me,” began Schram. “There were holes they set up that you could just not get up and down. All I could do was just play my game and not make mistakes.
“Today, I was just a little more nervous for whatever reason,” Schram continued. “It was just kind of a nerveracking day. But I can’t say enough about this team. We all came out and played really well.”
Bennett Hollar also had a big day for Warsaw, going 39 and 40 to card a 79 after struggling at the sectional. Younger brother Jonny Hollar had a frustrating front nine with a 44, but a 37 on the backside gave Warsaw a tremendous fifth-man score of 81.
The win gives Warsaw an automatic berth at the IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals on Tuesday at the Legends Course in Franklin. The trip is the ninth time coach Ben Barkey has at least taken an individual to the state tournament, and the seventh time in nine years that the Tiger team will play. Ostrom will also have a chance to defend his state title.
“Having the experience of taking teams and individuals to state is great,” Barkey said. “You want the guys to do well, the adrenaline, the journey, the experience, the memories, that is what you want. Going out and playing your best is the icing, the cherry on top.
“Having those memories they are going to have for the rest of their lives, that is why you work really hard. It’s always nice to show young men that if you work really hard and always stay in it, good things do happen. Getting to the state finals is a gfood thing.”
Advancing as individuals are Michael Sharp of East Noble, and a Lakeland duo of Spencer Mortola and Cody Richardson. Mortola beat Sharp in a one-hole playoff to decide the medalist as both finished with 74s. Richardson finished his round with a 75.
Triton did not have the swagger it had at Stonehenge last week. And it was written all over head coach Jack Carpenter’s face following the Trojans’ rounds.
“We just didn’t make the adjustments that we needed to,” a frustrated coach Carpenter stated. “You look and see 323 gets out and we shoot a 331. We played horrible, it’s ridiculous. You play two or three holes and you know the greens are fast. You know to keep it in front of the hole. Some of our kids didn’t do that, and they paid the price for it.”
Triton’s best front-nine score came from Tanner Shepherd with a 40, but several key missed putts left Shepherd with a 45 on the back and an 85 overall. Quentyn Carpenter, the Three Rivers Conference champion, also started slow with a 45 and a 41 on the back only left the No. 1 with an 86. Ryan Rapp had an 87 and Austin Kanarr, who did not golf in the sectional, had a 110.
Chandler Slone had an 81 for Triton, but could have fared much better if not for a 46 on the front side, as Slone rallied with a fantastic 35 on the back nine.
Golf at the state finals will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Legends, with the top nine teams and top nine individuals not on an advancing team will advance to Wednesday’s finals.
HOMESTEAD REGIONAL AT ORCHARD RIDGE (Par 71)
*Fort Wayne Dwenger 322
Culver Academy 327
Fort Wayne Canterbury 330
Fort Wayne Carroll 331
Elkhart Memorial 337
*advance to state finals
Tyler Ostrom 39-36 – 75
Jon Schram 41-36 – 77
Tim Ahlersmeyer 40-37 – 77
Bennett Hollar 39-40 – 79
Jonny Hollar 44-37 – 81
Quentyn Carpenter 45-41 – 86
Ryan Rapp 43-44 – 87
Tanner Shepherd 40-45 – 85
Austin Kanarr 57-53 – 110
Chandler Slone 46-35 – 81