Boys golf state: Tee times ‘an issue’ for regional champs
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or email@example.com June 12, 2012 11:12PM
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:40AM
FRANKLIN — There was some grumbling Tuesday about the tee times from some of the schools that were in the afternoon wave of the opening round of the state golf tournament.
All the winners of last week’s regionals, including Valparaiso, played in the afternoon. The worst teams got to tee off in the morning.
The wind, which was blowing between 20 and 30 miles per hour, got worse as the day wore on.
Three of the teams — Jasper, Noblesville and the Vikings — missed the cut.
That’s not to say it was impossible to play in the afternoon, but it certainly was easier in the morning. Valparaiso beat Penn last week at the LaPorte Regional, but the Kingsmen finished ninth and made the cut.
Valparaiso coach Wayne Lichtenberger said the tee times were “an issue.”
Last year, the IHSAA moved from one block of tee times to an afternoon and morning grouping. That has helped speed up play but questions remain about how fair that is.
Kyle Meihofer, the Vikings’ No. 1 golfer, said it didn’t make a difference.
“Everyone had to play the same course,” he said.
Regionals are moving: The whole setup of the state tournament will be completely different next year.
The IHSAA is reducing the number of regionals from seven to five — and it will make the state tournament a two-day event for all the teams. That means there will be no cut.
Currently, there are 21 teams that play in the state finals and the top nine and any team within 12 strokes of the lead make the second day. Next year, all 15 teams will play for two days.
Lichtenberger said LaPorte isn’t sure if it will still get to host a regional. The girls regional from LaPorte is moving to Lafayette.
Lichtenberger isn’t a big fan of the new regional format, saying it will increase driving times for practice rounds for some teams and make it unfair for more teams to try to get familiar with the course.
He would prefer a format that keeps 15 of the 21 teams that are currently in the state finals for the second day.
Individuals don’t make the cut: Lake Central’s Mike Barenie and LaPorte’s Joel Collins both shot 78. Neither score was good enough to make the cut. Barenie said a wayward drive and the wind conditions were completely opposite of what he played in the Monday practice round, and he struggled to adjust.