HENRYVILLE — By the time the Columbus East and Columbus North boys golf teams made the turn in the Providence Regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club on Thursday, it was apparent that neither team was going to finish among the top three and earn a trip to next week’s state finals.
The lone remaining question was whether either team’s top player — East’s Austin Proffitt or North’s Bryce Turner — could punch a ticket as an individual.
Both came up just a little bit short.
When Jasper’s Josh Krempp turned in a 1-under-par score of 71, it bumped Turner and his 76 out of what had been a tie for the fifth and final qualifying position.
Story continues below gallery
Proffitt wound up just one shot back of Turner at 77.
The Bull Dogs completed the day with a team score of 320, good for ninth place in the 18-team field. The Olympians, winners of last week’s Greensburg Sectional, finished 11th with a 327.
Turner had the low round of the day for the Bull Dogs, turning in a 4-over-par 76. He hurt himself with three double bogeys on the day, but was able to finish strong, collecting birdies on three of his last four holes.
The 76 left Turner just shy of qualifying for the state finals as an individual.
“It was close, but it was just so competitive,” Turner said.
Spencer Fairbanks and Drew Smith each carded an 81 for North, while Matt Vorndran and Jared Imlay shot 82 and 83, respectively.
Proffitt’s day turned out OK after a rough start that saw him put up two double bogeys in the first three holes. The senior got back down to 2 over par by the time he finished the front nine.
“It’s a little disappointed,” Proffitt said. “But I’m not really upset. I played the best I could with what happened early on.”
Nathan Cesarski was a pleasant surprise for the Olympians on Thursday, establishing a new career best with a 78. Thomas Ruch had an 81, while Mark Mayhew shot 91 and Derek Alexander 93.
Jennings County finished 16th with a total of 361. Ian Donnell led the way with an 85, while Jake Simmons and Austin Roscoe shot 88 and 89, respectively. Garrett Day’s 99 rounded out the scoring for the Panthers, while Bailey Wilder was one shot behind Day with a 100.
Brown County, making its first regional appearance, was 17th with a 386. Freshman Parker VanNess led the Eagles with an 83, while Aubrey Seaman followed close behind at 86. Jake Dixon (105), Gavin Brown (112) and Wesley Weigel (116) filled out the lineup.
Columbus North walked away disappointed with its postseason performance, but Turner is eager for a chance at redemption in 2017.
“We expect more from ourselves,” he said. “We expect to be in the state finals every year competing. But we’ll come back, we’ll work hard, and you’ll expect to see us next year at the state finals.”
Proffitt, meanwhile, closes his career having claimed sectional crowns this spring both as an individual and with his team.
“It was a fun four years,” he said. “I had a great time competing with everyone and couldn’t be with any better guys.”