WARSAW — Tippecanoe Valley’s Cade Brouyette picked a pretty good day for a season-low.
The Valley top flighter carded eight — that’s right, eight — birdies on his way to a 73 at the Three Rivers Conference Tournament at Rozella-Ford Saturday, earning himself conference low-medalist honors in the process.
“It was a big day for him. I’m extremely proud of him,” said Valley coach Thad Mellott. “He had eight birdies today. It was a great day for him. He hit some amazing shots out there. I can recall one out there, I think it was on 8, where he put it within three or four inches and actually backed it up — I thought it was going to go in — on the approach. He also had some nerves get to him a little bit at times because he knew he was playing well and did some silly things — hit a few out of bounds — but, man, 73 is a good round.”
While Brouyette went low for Valley, the Vikings shook out in sixth place in the team standings at the TRC with a team score of 397. Peru took home the team title with a 324, while Maconaquah and Rochester turned in a pair of 344s, the Braves beating out the Zebras for runners-up bragging rights on a fifth score tiebreak as R.J. Beam’s 106 edged out Dryden Vance’s 110. Manchester was fourth with a 364, and Whitko finished a stroke back in fifth place.
“That’s actually probably where I was hoping we would come in at,” said Mellott of Saturday’s team finish. “We’ve got some really good pieces coming together on the team. This is my second year being here. I’ve got a freshman coming in next year, Greg Miller, who won the RRC conference (Friday) night at Rochester, so when I pair him with Cade and then I’ve got Mason Purvis, that’s getting to be a pretty good golfer, we’ll have a pretty good team going forward.”
Purvis gave Valley its second-best score playing in the third grouping with a 101. Purvis was on track to go even lower, but it was a solid performance for the sophomore to build on, said Mellott.
“He played well,” said the Valley skipper. “I know he was a little bit disappointed in himself at the end. He gave away a couple shots. He was sure he was going to stay under 100, and he played well enough to shoot under 100 today. But he’s a sophomore; the future is bright for this kid.”
Billy Gillman gave the Vikings a 110 in the fifth grouping, Bryce Madeford shot 113, and Johnny Gonsalez turned in a 134 at Rozella. The Vikings will be back at the course for Warsaw Sectional play in three weeks. Realistically, they’ll have a tough time making a top three cut out to regional, but Brouyette can definitely contend. And Mellott thinks Saturday’s finish should invigorate him going into the home stretch of the season.
“Team-wise, we’re going to have to play really well, obviously, to advance, but on a personal level with Cade — man, if he can’t get momentum from shooting a 73 and be ready for sectionals, I don’t know what else is going to get him ready for it. He should be firing on all cylinders right now,” said Mellott.
Meanwhile Saturday, Whitko was paced by Kyar Bryant’s 87, followed by Cade Bechtold’s 88. Dale Rieff shot 94, Johnathan Strayoer carded 96, and Storm Baldise shot 129.