NAPPANEE – All good things must come to an end and that was the case for the Warsaw golf team on Tuesday night.
The No. 6 Tigers were defeated in a regular season match for the first time in four years by Northern Lakes Conference opponent NorthWood by a score of 151-161 at McComick Creek Golf Course. Both the Tigers and Panthers were able to defeat Goshen as the Redskins posted a 171 Tuesday night.
The match marked the third time the No. 11 Panthers and Tigers had taken the course together, with NorthWood outshooting the Tigers in both previous meetings this year in a pair of invitationals. But as Tiger coach Ben Barkey pointed out, its not about what the opponent does or has done.
“The thing with golf is that it’s different. It’s not like we can come out here and gameplan against them (NorthWood). It’s us versus the course,” Barkey stated.
With that thought in mind, it was clear to see that the course got the best of the Tigers on Tuesday night. Warsaw had just one player shoot below a 40, that was a 39 inked by Jonny Hollar.
Sophomore Hollar parred six of his nine holes and managed a bogey on number five. While a bogey is not usually a notable score, number five gave the Tigers fits all day as Hollar and senior Tim Ahlersmeyer both scored a five on the hole. The other three Tiger varsity scores on the hole were six, six and eight.
Coincidentally, Ahlersmeyer had the second lowest score for the Tigers on the day as he finished with a 40, highlighted by a birdie on number two. Evan Cultice golfed in the number two spot for Warsaw and pulled in a 41, which tied with Will Petro for the team’s third lowest score.
The surprise on the day was Warsaw’s number one golfer Jon Schram. The senior and Ball State recruit had an very uncharacteristic 45 for the day. But Barkey took the blame for that, as well as the relatively high score for his team.
“Plain and simple, I didn’t do a good enough job coaching,” Barkey said.
“Schram has been struggling on these nine hole simple tracks for whatever reason. I knew after three holes that he (Schram) was still struggling and I chose to stick with my coaching routine on certain holes that I wanted to be on for certain tee shots. I didn’t pick up with Schram until hole six and after that he started doing better for the most part,” Barkey later continued.
One player who did not struggle on Tuesday was Payton Grubbs of NorthWood. Grubbs golfed the number two spot for the Panthers and had the low score for the round with an even 36. Goshen’s low score came from Michael Chupp who recorded a 39.
Logan Kauffman shot a 37 for the Panthers, while Dylan Gessinger fired a 38, Ryan Thompson 40 and Brayden Glaser 43.
The Redskins got a 41 from Alex Hartsough, followed by a 43 from Joel Moyer, 48 by Quinn Albin and 62 from Jake Pries.
NorthWood is now 6-0 in NLC play, while Warsaw slips to 4-1 and Goshen falls to 0-5.
Though the loss is Warsaw’s first outside of a tournament in nearly four seasons, the game plan is the same for Barkey and the Tigers.
“All of that is in the past. It’s a great past and the guys want to be undefeated for their season but if we take care of business Thursday then that’s one loss for the year, that’s still great,” Barkey stated.
The Warsaw coach later added, “We just ran into a really good team on their home course and they took care of business, as they should. But nothing is said and done, we’ve all been a part of the NLC before. We still have to take care of business Thursday, they (NorthWood) still have to take care of business Thursday and then we have an 18-hole tournament where we go head-to-head again on Saturday at a neutral site. I’ve been a part of a lot of unique finishes and anything can happen.”
The business for Warsaw (4-1 in the NLC) on Thursday night will be with Elkhart Memorial and Plymouth It will also be senior night for the Tigers. Play is set to begin at 5 p.m. at Stonehenge Golf Club. NorthWood wraps up NLC play versus Concord at Bent Oak in Elkhart and Goshen faces league foes Wawasee and Northridge at South Shore in Syracuse, also on Thursday night.
The NLC Tournament will be contested on Saturday at the Maplecrest Country Club in Goshen.
The Tiger JV turned in an impressive effort Tuesday, shooting 157 to easily defeat NorthWood (177) and Goshen (210).
Josh Ahlersmeyer led the Warsaw JV squad with a 38. Ryan Cultice and Jacob Foster each shot 39, while Brandon Eckert shot a 41 and Reid Cameron a 44.