Thursday was the second day of school for Bartholomew County schools, and Columbus East girls golf coach Troy Buntin thinks that had something to do with the Olympians’ performance in a tri match at Otter Creek.
East managed to win the match, but it wasn’t by much. Whiteland was just one stroke behind East’s 205 at 206. Greenfield-Central finished third with a 227.
Olympians golfer Lily Shelp said nobody on the team really played as well as they wanted to. That could have been because students were more focused on getting back into the grove of doing homework once they got home.
“That factors into it, especially when you have kids who are good students,” Buntin said. “They have to be able to separate that, which is easier said than done, but it’s fixable. It’s just that mental side.”
Shelp was East’s best performer, shooting a 47, which was five strokes behind medalist Bri Harwell of Whiteland. Autumn Fateley carded a 50 for the Olympians, while Lauren Steinwedel shot 52, Kati Brunn added a 56, Morgan Harrison had a 58 and Ellie Buntin finished with a 62.
“I know that the best part of my game today was my drives,” Shelp said. “And I know that a couple of other people on our team had a couple of really good drives, too. I think we struggled on our in-between game. I think around the green was OK, and off the tee was OK, but in the middle was where we struggled.”
Buntin saw a lot of positives out of his team, but said one moment of lack of concentration can lead to a few missed shots. He said he preaches to his golfers that any one miss or made shot in any given match can give or take away a win.
Luckily for East, it did just enough to win its season opener.
“There is a match every year that comes down to a couple shots,” Buntin said. “Fortunately, this is early in the season. You’d hate for it to be sectional and it be one shot that you don’t make it out as a team, and they know that.”