GREENWOOD -- Thursday at the Center Grove golf sectional was anything but a typical day for two Greencastle golfers. Seniors Eric Davis and Jacob Collins saw their prep careers come to an end as they faced a rain-soaked course and windy conditions.
Davis' day started with some struggles on the greens. A majority of his putts were mere millimeters from dropping, which resulted in a slightly elevated score on the front nine. GHS head coach Donovan Wheeler thought if his putts were dropping, Davis' day could have started much stronger. Putting was the one aspect of his game that dogged Davis throughout the day, which Wheeler acknowledged killed his progress.
"(It was) Mostly a lot of just lost momentum early," Wheeler said. "I think Eric had a three- or four-putt early, if those would have dropped it would have really given him some momentum, but they didn't. He wound up having just a battle with his putter the rest of the day. He was just in situations all day where he was standing over must-make putts and as the day progresses, the pressure in the situation mounts."
Davis posted a 42 on the front nine and was ready to make a run at the back nine until something happened that baffled Davis and his coach.
Over a series of holes it became apparent that Davis' right eye was bothering him. What started as a slight rub turned into something that required more attention. After the match, Wheeler pointed out that Davis' contact basically disappeared at some point and that was the reason for the irritation.
However, when Davis left the course, he went to the restroom to look at his eye and when he did, the contact popped back into place. Wheeler acknowledged the strangeness of the event with a smile.
"I don't think I've ever experienced anything like that. I suppose if I looked up the definition of karma somewhere, I think we could probably fit it in. It was just bad luck. I feel really bad for him; it's just the way those things work out," he said.
Davis closed the back nine with a 42 to finish the day with an 84.
This was a senior season to remember for Collins. Last year, he didn't earn a spot on the sectional team and rebounded this year to not only play at sectional but to advance out.
His day was much like Davis', with putts slipping back and shots that didn't seem to want to work for him.
"He did it with a lot of class," Wheeler said. "He had a major struggle on No. 5 where he had that shanked ball. A shot like that could destroy a lot of kids mentally, but he rebounded from it. He played with dignity and played with an understanding of what he accomplished to get here and he wasn't about to let something like that ruin his day.
"I respect him for that immensely," he added.
Wheeler commented about the talent involved at this stage of play, especially at the Center Grove Regional, and wanted his two seniors to take pride with the strides they have made.
"Eric came here and wanted to get out, it's really disappointing for him. But at the same time, it's like I told both Eric and Jacob, they can go through all the yearbooks in the library and look at the faces who never got here. They should be really proud of what they've accomplished," Wheeler concluded.
At Hickory Stick Golf Club
Greencastle -- Davis 42 42 - 84, Collins 43 43 - 86.