CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale and South Putnam's girls' golf squads have gotten familiar with one another over the opening month of their seasons.
The two teams tangled for the fourth time Monday afternoon, and, in their closest encounter yet, the Clovers squeaked by the Eagles, 216 to 218.
Conditions were ideal at Clover Meadows as the hosts looked strong through the opening pair.
Sydney Shrum, who would take medalist honors with a 42, and Victoria Boyette, who shot a 49, gave the Clovers an eighteen shot advantage at the conclusion of its round.
The Eagles, coming off a season-best 197 at Crawfordsville, showed its depth as No. 3 player Kendra Boyce came in with the low score for South Putnam with a 49, with no golfer coming in higher than 64 on the day.
With four players in, the hosts found themselves on the wrong end of the score sheet with Anna Spencer still out on the course.
Her score of 69 was enough to be in the top four for the Clovers, who compiled a 216 score, with South Putnam unable to advance from 218, meaning that in four previous outings, both squads have finished ahead of one another twice.
For old teammates Matt Langdon and Brian McClure, there were mixed feelings on the day from the coaches, with the Cloverdale coach the happier of the two.
"It's going to be fun with South Putnam all year. They've gotten us a couple of times. We got them here in our 18 hole round, and it was what we expected: a super, super close round," Langdon said.
"It came down to our fifth player, Anna [Spencer], coming in and helping us out and we won by a couple of strokes. It will be back and forth all year."
"Sydney posted a good score of 42 and Victoria shot a 49. She's been under 50 for most of the year and has been a consistent senior for us," Langdon mentioned.
"This year we've been able to think about team wins. Last year, we just didn't have enough to think about the team."
"Makayla [Moore] has really improved this year. She was in the 60-70's last year as a beginner, and she shot a 56 today, so it's nice to have her consistently in those 50's," Langdon pointed out.
"We're hoping by the end of the year our four and five golfers can get into that 50 range and help us to break our goal of 200. We think that if we can break 200, we maybe have a shot at county. We're hoping and helping them on their way to lower the team score," Langdon said.
For McClure, it was a step backwards from the previous match.
"It was a major setback, really, because after we shot our best round of 197, it was a bit disappointing to shot 218. This course has a few holes that give our girls' fits. We have to work on those holes, because we have to come back here to play county," McClure said.
"Kendra (Boyce) has been solid all year, and she's been consistently around 50. Today was a 49, so she's playing good and I couldn't be more excited for her."
"Her sister Caitlyn (Boyce) also had a good round, so both Boyce girls are shooting well. We just need to help out a little bit next time," McClure added.
Meets Wednesday at Southmont and Thursday at home with Greencastle and Danville will give the Eagles a chance to get back to better scores, something McClure is looking for.
"We'd like to get that score back down to around 200. Below 210 is a reasonable goal for the girls. Anything below that is pretty good for us. We just want to keep shaving off some strokes and get back down there by the end of the week."
At Clover Meadows
Cloverdale 216, South Putnam 218
Medalist -- Shrum (CL) 42
Cloverdale -- Shrum 42, Boyette 49, Moore 56, Spencer 69
South Putnam -- K. Boyce 49, C. Boyce 50, Cash 57, McKean/Woodworth 62