East nips North, repeats as sectional golf champ

GREENSBURG — The Columbus East boys golf team lost a pair of dual matches to Columbus North during the regular season.

The Olympians turned it up a notch for the first postseason meeting.

Buoyed by a tournament-low round of 67 by Austin Proffitt, East eked out a three-stroke victory over its crosstown rival at Greensburg Country Club to claim a second consecutive sectional championship and the school’s third overall.

“We thought we could do it,” East’s Derek Alexander said. “We had some confidence going in that we could pull it off this year.”

Proffitt’s performance certainly helped the cause. The senior birdied the final three holes of the front nine to make the turn with a 2-under-par 33, then eagled the 14th.

He made bogey on the par-5 15th but recovered with birdies on the final two holes.

“That’s one I would want back,” Proffitt said of the 15th, “and I missed a 3-footer for birdie on another hole, but what are you going to do? They’re not all going to drop. I’m not mad at all.”

Hard to be mad when you’re the only player in the field to break par. North’s Bryce Turner had the next lowest round with a 1-over 71.

Proffitt got some help from Alexander, who carded a 73. Thomas Ruch and Mark Mayhew finished with scores of 82 and 84, respectively, just low enough to help the Olympians hold on with a 306 to North’s 309.

“This was our main goal this year,” Proffitt said, “and we got it, and it feels amazing.”

In addition to Turner’s 71, the Bull Dogs got a 78 from Jared Imlay. Spencer Fairbanks and Matt Vorndran each shot 80.

While North was certainly never in danger of not advancing to next week’s regional, coach Doug Bieker was disappointed with his team’s performance.

“I expected us to play better,” he stated. “We’ve been trending that way, and I don’t know if it was the pressure that got to them or what.”

Hauser finished with a team total of 421. Justin Compton shot a 92 to pace the Jets, while Owen Green (104), Nick Neafus (109) and Chase Conner (116) rounded out the scoring.

East and North, along with third-place Greensburg, which finished with a 330, advance to next week’s regional at Champions Pointe in Henryville.

Despite his team falling short on Friday, Bieker remains confident in the Bull Dogs going forward.

“I still believe in this team,” he said. “They’re going to have a long week ahead of them, but I really do think this team’s capable of putting together a good round next week.”

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.