GREENCASTLE -- In contrast to Monday's gloomy and threatening skies, Tuesday was the ideal day for golfers to hit the links at Windy Hill Country Club. With the end of the season beginning to loom, Greencastle flexed its golfing muscles, batting away challenges from North Putnam and Crawfordsville, winning with a team score of 167 to the Athenians' 183 and Cougars' 213.
The Tiger Cubs were paced by medalist Jimmy Wheeler's nine-hole score of 38. Brad Haussin shot 41, while Eric Embry and Derik Thomas both carded 44 to lead Greencastle at Windy Hill.
The Athenians' best could only match that of Embry and Thomas, while North Putnam struggled, featuring a squad that had little experience at the Greencastle home course.
"We have a lot of freshmen on this team and only one of them has ever played here," said Cougars coach Nathan Martindale.
"The fourth hole was brutal today," Martindale mentioned as his young squad, one by one, marched on to the fifth tee with a look of dejection after struggling at the 377-yard, par 4.
"We need to do a better job of blocking out bad holes. Our mental toughness is a little lower than it needs to be right now," he added
That sentiment was partially echoed by Greencastle coach Donovan Wheeler after the round as well.
"We shot some higher numbers today than we have," Wheeler said. "I think, when the majority of the team is not playing well, we need to stop and refocus. After talking with (the team) and from what I saw, all we need to do is some patchwork on the course.
"The guys are very self-motivated. They will push themselves three times harder than I do, so I don't have to push them harder to improve as they do that themselves," he added. "They will respond because a couple of times they have seen how good they can be and will keep pushing themselves to get there again."
Both squads will play again later in the week, with North Putnam heading to Clover Meadows to square off with Eminence and later playing in the Covington Invitational, though the trip to Cloverdale had coach Martindale upbeat.
"It's a good thing to go play at the county (tourney) course a week before we get to it. We need to bounce back mentally and be better prepared for the match," he said. "The Covington Invitational will be a chance for improving. We had been lowering scores in our last few matches heading into the county and conference meets, so today was a setback."
Coach Donovan again had similar interest in the trip to Deer Creek to face Monrovia and Cascade.
"The biggest concern we have right now is confidence," Wheeler stated. "They were really down and I need to do a better job of reminding them how good they can be. That's the big thing right now. We've already been down to Clover Meadows, which is a course that is all about position and playing intelligently. You have to play the short and mid irons there.
"Deer Creek is a similar course to Clover Meadows. There are a couple of holes you can bomb away on, but it's mainly about playing in positions to score from," Wheeler concluded
At Windy Hill Country Club, Greencastle
Team Scores (Low Score)
Greencastle 167 (Wheeler, 38, Medalist)
Crawfordsville 183 (Stanton, 44)
North Putnam 213 (Willard, 49)