By Mike Deak
WARSAW – It was a topic before the match, during the match and after the match. The rain storm that happened in the morning, the potential for rain all through Thursday’s dual meet between Warsaw and Rochester, and whether or not everyone would finish before another storm hovered just south of the Rozella Ford Golf Course skyline.
As it turned out, Thursday evening was a pretty nice night for a golf match, won by Warsaw 179-213 over its visitors to the south.
There was evidence all over the Rozella course that it rained cats and dogs Thursday morning. The course supers did a tremendous job removing what debris they could, but the water levels on the sixth were still high enough to be in the way, and there was minor debris here and there on the edges of the fairways. It didn’t seem to bother the players much, as most just played around any of the static mess.
Delaney Byron didn’t seem to mind any of it, carding a medalist 43 that included playing a ball out of the water on six and still netting a par, and only a three-putt on nine foiled what was one of her finer showings.
“This is our first match where we just played nine, and there wasn’t a recovery period like we might get in an 18-hole match,” said Warsaw head coach David James. “For a nine-hole match, you’ll get a couple hiccups, but you have to be able to brush it off and play. Delaney did a nice job of that on a couple holes, she came back with nice scores. But we’ll need all of our girls doing that, and tonight showed we need to maybe slow down a little playing a nine-hole match.”
Marie Frazzetta didn’t have a stellar match by her standards, but was just one behind Byron with a 44, and the duo of Olivia Robinson-Gay and Abigail Davis each shot 46 to comprise the Warsaw scores. Quietly, Abbey Peterson posted a 51 as the fifth Warsaw score, as James noted was just the fourth match of Peterson’s golfing life and first nine-hole competition among the very short history.
Getting Peterson, who golfed in the three hole, as well as Davis in the five and/or Tessa Graney, who was No. 6, into a consistent groove will only boon a sneaky Warsaw team that hopes to continue a slow build into the Northern Lakes Conference season.
“A lot of this will come down to Abbey Peterson needing more experience, AG (Davis) needing more experience,” James said. “A 51 still isn’t a bad score for someone who is literally still learning. If I can get her to 50 and then under, if I can get AG to stay under 50 a round, that’s when we put ourselves in range to chase the Penn’s, the Carroll’s, the NorthWood’s, teams we have to beat in a regional setting.”
Rochester saw Ava Thomas golf in the Frazzetta group and match the Warsaw ace with a 44 to lead the Zebras. Payton Moore was also in the foursome with Robinson-Gay and shot a 48, but the Rochester scores dropped off precipitously as Reagan Becker had a 59 and both Kat Renburger and Delaney Barkman each posted 62s.
Graney had a 51 in the JV tally, one better than Celia Mangun’s 52. Alicia Johnson shot 56, Claire Deeter a 59 and Lucy Ray a 64 to conclude the Warsaw undercard. Avery Brouyette had a 56 and Emma Bays a 64 for Rochester’s understudies.
“This was the first time we’ve been on Rozella’s course in at least two years,” James said. “So this is just as new to our older players as it is our younger golfers. Even Marie and Delaney haven’t played here in a competition in two years. It’s still a curve. Part of tonight felt a little slow. I know coming back to school (Friday) is on their mind, lot of stuff on their mind. We saw that in the middle of the match, they started playing like they were going for it. And some of that is them having to know their game and not just assume the course.”