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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wheeler, Arnold move on to golf regional

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

JImmy Wheeler [Order this photo]
MARTINSVILLE -- A break in the humidity meant cool breezes and almost pristine skies greeted golfers at the IHSAA Martinsville Sectional Monday. For two local golfers, Monday proved the be just the beginning for their 2010 state tournament

Greencastle' Jimmy Wheeler and Cloverdale's Chris Arnold will move on to tomorrow's regional at Center Grove after posting scores of 71 and 73, respectively.

As for the teams, GHS placed fourth with a score of 305, while Cloverdale was eighth with a score of 345, South Putnam was 10th with 349 and North Putnam was 12th with 378.

Chris Arnold [Order this photo]
Greencastle's fourth-place finish marked the third straight year the Tiger Cubs, as a team, have been on the outside looking in. But for head coach Donovan Wheeler, his team gave it all they had and he was not disappointed in the least.

"Yeah it's a familiar number, but I'm really not upset at all about what happened today," Wheeler said. "These guys have been overachieving all year and they understand that because I've been pretty honest with them about they've made a lot out of what they have. So, the bottom line is you look at the three scores that advance and we were beaten by some really good golf -- period. There's nothing you can really say about that.

"These guys came out and competed," he continued. "It's a little bit heartbreaking to be fourth place three years in a row, but the other side of that is, it's incredibly exciting to be competitive. I'm definitely grateful for what these guys have done all year, because the beginning of the season, I thought we might be lucky to shoot right around 170 and finish close to .500, so these guys have really stepped it up and impressed me a lot.

"My hats off to my boys -- I'm really proud of them," Wheeler added.

Jimmy Wheeler shot a one-over par 71 to post the county lowest score at the sectional. The score was the second lowest to advance.

"It's exciting," Wheeler confessed. "It's been, particularly the second half of the season probably from our Tiger Cub Invite on, when he got some issues ironed out and started playing well. It's been a lot of fun. This and the summer tournament results last summer were really, I think, the one-two piece that he finally started to believe that he really was -- good. It started to show and it's been a lot of fun to watch him just play steady, smooth, even keel golf and I've enjoyed it a lot."

"I'm looking forward to Thursday. It will be a nice experience professionally and personally," Wheeler admitted.

In addition to Wheeler, the Tiger Cubs posted two scores in the 70s and finished just seven strokes from advancing. Brad Haussin shot a 75, Tyler Hopkins carded a 78, while Eric Embry shot an 81 and Ray Stinson finished with an 87.

Wheeler spoke after the match about the impact Hopkins and Embry have had on the team this season. He noted that Embry took Monday's loss especially hard, even trying to lay the blame at his own feet. His head coach noted the fight the senior showed and why he should be proud.

"He fought all day," Wheeler said. "He could have very easily had a big number, but he didn't give up and he scraped and clawed. He takes an eight on the front nine, and instead of shutting down and quitting, he fights and gives us a number that helps us finish with a little bit of pride and respect."

Haussin's 75 found him just two strokes from advancing and Wheeler acknowledge his talented sophomore had some growing pains this season.

"Brad is like a son to me," Wheeler said. "I know this has been a difficult year for him because he wanted to repeat the same kind of success he had last year. Personally, I think he had a very successful year. I think he's a very good golfer, he's a very talented golfer and he's without question one of the best golfers I've ever coached. I fully 100 percent expect him to take what's happened this year and turn that into a positive for a very strong finish in the second half of his high school career."

Cloverdale's Arnold posted a blistering 33 on the front nine, but acknowledged his nerves got the better of him on the back nine.

"Yeah, I got a little nervous on the back nine after playing so good on the front. I had a little cushion I could shoot a mediocre score on the back and still be all right," he said.

He said what he wants to accomplish on Thursday is play a good round of golf. Asked if he thought his nerves might play a factor at the regional, Arnold didn't think they should be a factor.

"I think that now that I've made it past here, then I think I'll be able to handle them a little bit better Thursday," Arnold commented.

Gary Williams posted the Clovers' second lowest score with an 81, while Sam Jordan shot a 95, Tyler Deakin a 96 and Mike Matthews a 104.

Head coach Doug Wokoun acknowledged the solid rounds Arnold and Williams put together and spoke of the leadership Deakin showed in his senior season.

He spoke about his feelings regarding Arnold moving on and the fact that his county foe Tiger Cubs finished in fourth place yet again.

"We're really excited for the opportunity now with Chris," he said. "As you and I have talked, this is a very highly competitive sectional. I also feel really bad about how it shook out for Greencastle. To shoot a 305 and not get out is almost criminal, but a great effort on their part. They did a great job representing Putnam County and the West Central Conference and I'm very proud of those guys.

"But we are excited and Chris is looking forward to the opportunity over at Hickory Stick," he added.

Looking forward to Thursday, Wokoun said he doesn't know what it has in store for the two Putnam County golfers, but he knows they have what it takes to do some nice things at regional.

"It's kind of funny because I think for a lot of kids, there's so much pressure to get out of the sectional that, unless you have really good focus about the regional, it kind of gets away from you," he said. "There aren't any bad players, so you can look around a little bit and be intimidated by that or you can just go out and play your game and hope that's going to be enough to do what has to be done.

"I think Chris and Jimmy both understand that real well. I don't know if they'll make it to the state tournament, but I think they will both do well at the regional because they have that understanding," Wokoun concluded.

The South Putnam Eagles posted their best 18-hole score of the year and finished in 10th place behind the 81 of Dylan Gilbert.

Alex Kelly shot an 87, while Dean Varvel shot an 89, Mike Nichols a 92 and Alex Eickhoff a 95.

Head coach Brian McClure was more than pleased with his team's performance on the day.

"It was a beautiful day and we played great," McClure said. "In golf, you can get an idea and you don't have to look at the rest of the field, you just look at your scores in the past. Judging by what we've done in the past, this is by far a great round. It's our best 18 holes of the year by, I think, 17 strokes.

"(It was) a great round. Looks like they kept their attitudes together and they played hard, so I'm pleased. I'm pleased with today. We're losing one senior, so we're looking forward to coming back next year and doing the exact same thing and maybe even being a little better. Overall, we're pretty excited about where we finished," he added.

Asked about having three golfers shoot in the 80s, McClure said that on the Martinsville course, the scores were good. He noted the course can cause people problems, so to have those three rounds were a very good day.

North Putnam's was led by Colton Smith's 89, with Wes Detienne adding a 93, Lance Clodfelter a 95 and Brandon Volland a 101. Head coach Nathan Martindale was unavailable following the round.

Wheeler and Arnold will tee off at 8 a.m. Thursday at Hickory Stick at Center Grove.

At Martinsville G.C.

IHSAA Boys' Golf Sectional

1. Martinsville 293, 2. Avon 294, 3. Brownsburg 298, 4. Greencastle 305, 5. Plainfield 307, 6. Cascade 323, 7. Tri-West 324, 8. Cloverdale 345, 9. Mooresville 346, 10. South Putnam 349, 11. Monrovia 349, 12. North Putnam 378, 13. Danville 385, 14. Bethesda Inc.

Medalist -- Keegan McKinney (Avon) 68

Individuals Advancing

Rylan Porter (M) 70, Wheeler (GHS) 71, Arnold (73), Chris Broman (P) 73

Team Scores

(Putnam County only)

Greencastle -- Wheeler 71, Haussin 75, Hopkins 78, Embry 81, Stinson 87

Cloverdale -- Arnold 73, Williams 81, Jordan 95, Deakin 96, Matthews 104

South Putnam -- Gilbert 81, Kelly 87, Varvel 89, Nichols 92, Eickhoff 95

North Putnam -- Smith 89, Detienee 93, Clodfelter 95, Volland 101

-- Denotes advancing teams