By Mike Deak
WARSAW – Already knowing it would acquire a team win Thursday afternoon, Warsaw’s ambition was to start to dissect its home course. In its home opener at Stonehenge, Warsaw whistled a sweet tune while being serenaded along the way.
The Tigers posted a 189 team score against visiting Triton, which brought only three golfers and unable to meet the requisite four to qualify for a team score. Along the route on the front nine, Warsaw largely started slow, but soon settled in with some solid play on the greens and a nice finish by its varsity contingent.
As the girls worked their way through the first third of the course, a raspy voice somewhere between Louie Armstrong and Jason Beghe crackled his way through something like karaoke somewhere off in the distance. It was loud enough it made the girls laugh as the gravelly tones rolled through anything from Van Halen to Bob Dylan. It seemed fitting as the round was already decided before the first tee, but helped the girls settle down just the same.
“Even with Triton not scoring tonight, it was good because they will help push us,” said Warsaw head coach David James. “It is helping that we are starting to shave strokes in a positive way. We’ve been able to take a few off with better decisions in our approach, and then tonight like Sydney (Lancaster), she hits a couple long putts and Delaney (Byron) had a couple as well. All of those makes will start to add up as we go through this season.”
As the rendition of Van Halen’s ‘You Really Got Me’ cascaded over the front nine, Lancaster was starting to feel it. Beginning the day just one over after four holes, Lancaster dropped her tee shot on three within a few feet and made the birdie putt. After weathering through a pair of doubles and a triple heading home, Lancaster righted her game on the ninth, putting her third shot on the green and tapping in for par, closing out a round of 44 which held for medalist.
Warsaw saw three other golfers score par on the par-three seventh, and not to be outdone on the ninth, Byron drained a 20-plus-foot putt to save par, and Abigail Davis sent her birdie chip within three feet of the cup on her final hole of the night.
“Tonight we had a really good approach to the match,” James said. “We made a lot better choices. The past couple practices we really worked on our approach shots and thinking it through and thinking about the situations.”
Byron would rally from starting eight over after three to recover for a 46, followed by Marie Frazzetta at 47, who was the only golfer on the day to par the chip shot fifth hole.
Olivia Robinson-Gay had a tough final two holes in sinking to a 52 and Davis was Warsaw’s fifth score at 58 despite several of the Grace College men’s soccer players cheered her on just off the fourth fairway while they worked on their head coach, Arron Patrick’s, future abode.
Maddie Ritchison was the lone Triton golfer to have any matchplay experience on the Stonehenge course. Ritchison was the only Triton golfer registered for the 2019 sectional played at the fabled course, and Thursday’s 57 was five strokes better than what she shot on the front last September. A nice par putt on three was the highlight of Ritchison’s round, as she was double or worse the rest of the way.
Lilly Hubert was next at 59, using a low and slow approach to get to the greens. Hubert would bogey the par-three fifth and eighth holes to help her cause.
Haley Rensberger came in at 64, finding some trouble on the edges that forced some extra strokes for the newcomer.
Such will be the life for the Trojans, per head coach Blake Schori.
“Really, I felt like we did pretty good considering this is just their second match,” Schori said. “Playing a challenging course like this where there are hazards everywhere and the greens play really fast, this course can add strokes to your score in a hurry. I’m pleased with where we are at so far, and knowing the sectional is here, this is a nice tune-up with that in mind.”
Warsaw and Triton are likely set to meet one more time at Stonehenge on Sept. 15 just days ahead of the sectional, which Warsaw will host on Sept. 19.