New state champions are assured in both the team and individual races as the 77th Annual IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals begin Tuesday at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin.
A new format is also in effect for this year’s state finals as all competitors will play 36 holes over the two-day event with no cut after the first day as in previous years. A total of 15 teams have advanced five golfers each and 25 individuals have moved on without their squads for a total of 100 participants. Groups will be teeing off the Middle 9 course and the Road 9 course at 8 am ET / 7 am CT on Tuesday. The first round tee times and pairings are available here.
This year’s tournament may be void of any returning state champions but two individuals who have claimed the runner-up spot hope to make that final step to the top of the leaderboard. Evansville Central’s Dylan Meyer finished as the runner-up a year ago while Zionsville’s Adam Wood took second in 2011. Both are expected to contend again and come in playing tremendous golf with Meyer carding a 66 at the Fendrich Sectional and a 69 at the Country Oaks Regional and Wood ending with a 67 at the Golf Club of Indiana and a 70 at Battle Ground.
Jordan Griffith of Madison and Michael Makris of Mishawaka Marian appear to be playing at a high level as well. Griffith won both the sectional and regional with a 67 at Sunrise and a 70 at Champions Pointe, respectively with Makris winning his sectional at Erskine with a 67 and a 70 at the regional at Stonehenge.
Evansville Harrison, last year’s team champion, will not return to defend its crown but eight squads that made up last year’s field are back however including six of the top 10 finishers. Top-ranked Columbus North will make its fourth consecutive appearance in the finals after winning the regional at Champions Pointe. The Bull Dogs finished fourth in last year’s state finals.
No. 3 Floyd Central and No. 10 Warsaw are each appearing for the fifth straight year while No. 2 Valparaiso and No. 11 Jasper join Columbus North in making the trip for the fourth year in a row. Valpo has put up impressive numbers in recent days with a 281 to win its sectional at Forest Park and a 298 to win the regional at Battle Ground.
No school is making its first appearance in the state finals team competition but No. 16 Pendleton Heights, the third place team at the Players Club Regional will be represented for the first time since 1935. Fifth-ranked Evansville Memorial advanced for the first time since 1994 and Terre Haute North last qualified in 2000.
Fans and media are invited to view the progress of the state finals by visiting Golfstat.com. The IHSAA will post the hole-by-hole scores for every player throughout the two days.
IHSGCA Poll of May 30, 2013 (State finalist teams in bold)
1. Columbus North (14)
3. Floyd Central
4. Westfield (1)
5. Evansville Memorial
8. Hamilton Southeastern
9. Fort Wayne Dwenger
12. Crown Point
16. Pendleton Heights
17. Park Tudor
18. Carroll (Fort Wayne)
19. Lake Central
20. Mishawaka Marian
Honorable mention: Center Grove, Lebanon, Connersville.