Brotherton in the middle of the pack after round one

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Greencastle junior Luke Brotherton chips onto a green on the back-nine during his first round at the 2013 IHSAA boys' golf state finals on Monday. He tees off for his final round Wednesday at 8:18 a.m. from the Legends. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)

FRANKLIN -- Greencastle junior Luke Brotherton rebounded from a shaky start to finish the first round of the Indiana High School Athletic Assocation boys' golf state finals with a four-over 76 on Monday, putting him in a tie for 42nd place with one round to go.

After a solid warm-up on the range and putting green, Brotherton's nerves seemed to get the best of him on the first tee.

In the second group of the day, paired with Zionsville's Adam Wood, the world's No. 6 high school golfer, and Madison's Carson Wattenbarger, Brotherton's opening drive on the par-four first hooked into the deep rough left of the fairway. He got back onto the fairway with his third shot, then missed the green with his fourth.

The triple-bogey on the first hole led immediately into a bogey on the second, but while the rough start could have buried many high school golfer, Brotherton battled back.

" I'm sure he was a little nervous as this was his first experience on such a big stage," GHS coach Steve Paquin said. "He actually hit the ball very well today, but missed a few putts or his score would have been better than the 76.

"I think tomorrow we will see how well he can play and his score will be lower."

Brotherton parred the next three holes, then birdied the par-five sixth. Another difficult stretch on seven, eight and nine challenged him and finished the front at five-over.

Buoying his spirits may have been the play off Wood. The junior finished the day in a tie for first with a four-under round of 68.

The trio carried presented a positive rapport throughout the round, isolated to themselves though surrounded by a large gallery.

Brotherton regrouped at the turn and birdied 12 and 14 to get back to three-over for the day. A double on the par-three 16th was the lone blemish on his back-nine, but he again recovered with a birdie on 18.

He sits eight strokes back of the leaders, a group that includes Wood, Floyd Central senior Devin Jenkins and Valparaiso senior Kyle Meihofer.

Brotherton is tied with 12 other competitors and will be grouped on Wednesday with Southridge junior Tyler Gray, Providence sophomore Mitchell Allender and Northridge junior Will Erekson (+5).

While a comeback to win seems unlikely, Brotherton has the skills to make up some ground on the leaders. The state-meet record for an 18-hole score is 63, which has been done twice, most recently by Tyler Ostrom of Warsaw in 2011.

The structure of Brotherton's second and final round may play into his favor. He will tee off on the 10th hole and play the back-nine Road Course first, which he finished one-under on Monday.

That could help him carry momentum onto the front and final nine.

Brotherton tees off from the par-five 10th at the Legends on Wednesday at 8:18 a.m.

IHSAA State Finals
At the Legends (Franklin)

Individual scores

T1. Jenkins, FC, -4
T1. Meihofer, VAL, -4
T1. Wood, ZV, -4
4. Makris, MIS Mar, -3
T5. Coffey, COL N, -2
T5. Griffith, MAD, -2
T5. Hildebrandt, WF, -2
T5. Rapp, TRI, -2
T5. Sharp, E NOB, -2
T42. Brother, GC, +4

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