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FRANKLIN — Playing in the morning in Tuesday’s opening round of the IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals had its advantages.
Top-ranked Columbus North, playing in the afternoon, had to deal with a stiff wind. The Bull Dogs still carded a 303 at The Legends Golf Club to lead by two shots over Brebeuf Jesuit at the midway point.
“I think the morning wave, with the wind laying down a little bit, you had some lower individual-type scores,” North coach Doug Bieker said.
“With the best teams playing in the afternoon, it certainly was a challenge, but these kids rose to that, and I think they will (today).”
The 303 was a far cry from the 18-hole state-record 283 the Bull Dogs shot in last year’s opening round. That, however, came in ideal conditions.
“I think (today), if the wind lays down a little bit early, and the kids get off to a good start, I think you might see those types of numbers,” Bieker said.
North will tee off in the final round beginning at 8:15 this morning.
“The weather is going to help,” Fairbanks said. “I think we can go low (today).”
After playing the entire Providence Regional without a double-bogey, the Bull Dogs had five doubles on Tuesday.
Two of those double-bogeys belonged to sophomore Tanner Bennett. But after each of those – on the par-4 No. 8 and the par-5 No. 15 – Bennett came back with birdies on the next hole.
North finished with six birdies Tuesday. Senior John Arthur had two, while sophomore Michael VanDeventer and junior Jacob Coffey each added one.
VanDeventer’s birdie came on the par-4 No. 1.
“It gave me some confidence on the green,” VanDeventer said. “I didn’t hit very many greens on the front nine, but I felt like I could make just about every putt out there today.”
The shot of the day – at least for North – came on the par-3 No. 16.
Christian Fairbanks hit his tee shot into a left bunker about 10 feet below the green. But the sophomore pitched out to within three feet of the hole and sank the putt for par.
“I had seen the shot before in the practice round, and the pin was in pretty much the same place,” Fairbanks said. “I just had to execute the same shot.”
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