Olympians edge out Panthers on links

NORTH VERNON — Just two strokes separated Jennings County and Columbus East after the Panthers hosted its first home match of the season at St. Annes golf course on Tuesday. 

Both teams had to adjust to the wet course, but it was the Olympians who managed to squeak by with the win after posting a 205 to Jennings’ 207.

Lauren Steinwedel of East admitted that she struggled a bit because of the conditions, but golfed well enough to win medalist. She carded a 47. 

“It was wet and soggy but I think I did better than I shot at the beginning,” Steinwedel said. “I just kept telling myself keep going. I just always try to get par or bogey then I know it’ll end up being OK.” 

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Ellie Buntin followed behind Steinwedel with a 51, and Harley Gant ended with a 53. Kati Brunn carded a 54 while Payton Meir had a 57. Martinez shot a 65 and Mattie Shoaf shot 66.

East coach Troy Buntin was a little disappointed in a 205 team score, but said his golfers can learn from playing in conditions like Tuesday. 

“In some ways, our girls are always learning,” Buntin said. “We had a little bit of wind today, and you have to remember, ‘Oh what’s the wind doing?’ or, ‘Hey the greens are wet, so it’s not going to roll out as much,’ and we have to hit it harder. You just have to adapt to the conditions, and I think sometimes we forget that.” 

Jennings coach B.J. Bingham said his golfers performed how they have been playing to this point in the season, but he expected them to play better because of the solid practices they’ve been having.

The Panthers top golfers were Peyton Whitehead and Sydney Campbell who both shot 48. Ellie Hearne carded a 55, Destiny Joray finished with a 56. Annie Ertel posted a 60.

The conditions also affected the Jennings golfers, but Bingham said the two-stroke difference boiled down to too many missed putts by the Panthers. 

“It was a close match,” Bingham said. “Both teams are pretty evenly matched. It came down to missing a lot of strokes for us. Penalty strokes added up. With two 48s, I thought, ‘Oh we’re going to break 200 out here,’ but it didn’t happen.”