Jennings County traveled to Otter Creek for a girls golf match against Columbus East, but East coach Troy Buntin said it basically simulated a road match for the Olympians.
East hosts most of its home matches on the East Nine of Otter Creek, but the Olympians golfed on the West Nine on Tuesday. Playing on a different part of Otter Creek didn’t have much of an effect on the Olympians because their scores actually improved.
East posted a 184 team score to Jennings County’s 224.
“The kids were like ‘Oh my gosh because we never play (the West Nine),'” Buntin said. “But the scores were better … I told the kids I think this nine is easier because if you hit it crooked here, you’re still in play. You might be out in a tree, but if you hit it (on the East Nine) you’re in the weeds which is harder to hit from.”
Lilly Shelp said she liked having a change of scenery and performed better than she expected. Her 43 earned her medalist, honors beating out teammate Morgan Harrison by one stroke.
Autumn Fateley was two stokes behind Harrison with a 46, and Ellie Buntin added a 54. Lauren Steinwedel finished with a 51.
Buntin said the match was a nice bounce back from what he felt was a poor performance against Batesville on Monday. He talked with his team afterward about only focusing on golf during matches while mentally setting aside other things. The Olympians were able to do that against the Panthers.
“It’s hard for anybody to do,” Buntin said. “But when you factor in kids it’s even harder. Especially when you have a bunch of kids who are good students. That’s their priority really. We did a great job tonight and the scores show it.”
Jennings coach Kellie Barriger said all six of her golfers did well, staying right around their averages on a nine they’ve never played before.
Allie Clark was the top golfer for the Panthers with a 51, and Peyton Whitehead was one stroke behind with a 52. Sydney Campbell added a 56, Rachel Green finished with a 65 and Destiny Joray and Annie Ertel each shot a 70.
“Their putting was a lot better,” Barriger said. “We worked on putting a lot (Monday) night, so I was happy to see that was better. We still need to work on a lot of iron shots, chipping and stuff like that.”