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Golf: Valpo struggles again, finishes 12th at state

Valparaiso High School golfer  Andrew Gariup watches as an opponent's ball rolls toward cup 12th green. Gariup finished tied

Valparaiso High School golfer Andrew Gariup watches as an opponent's ball rolls toward the cup on the 12th green. Gariup finished tied for 75th with a score of 159 in the two-day tournament. High school golfers from across the state competed in the second day of the 2013 IHSAA Boys Golf State Tournament at The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin, Ind., June 12, 2013. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune

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Updated: July 15, 2013 7:24PM



FRANKLIN — At least the very last putt of the day for Valparaiso was top notch.

Kyle Meihofer, who had struggled by his standards, didn’t waste any time (he never does) lining up a 40-footer for birdie on No. 18.

The ball didn’t waste any time getting to the cup, either.

Meihofer hit it with plenty of pace and it was back of the cup, dead center.

It turned out to be a melodramatic ending for the five Vikings seniors, who struggled mightily for two days, finishing with a two-day total of 611 at the Legends of Indiana Golf Club in the state tournament.

Meihofer shot a 75 and he finished with a two-day total of 1-under-par. The Vikings team spread the pain around, with Bobby Jacobs shooting a 75 as well. No one else broke 80 for them. The Vikings finished 12th overall. Westfield, a team they beat by one stroke last week at Battle Ground Golf Club in Battle Ground in Regionals, won the team title with a score of 575, which was 1-under par.

It was one of those days for the Vikings, who basically played some of their worst golf at the end of the year.

Alex Pancek, who finished with an 81, had his day unravel for good after he made his second triple bogey on four holes on No. 11.

The whole team was relaxed after shooting a 300 on the first day, which put the Vikings 10 strokes out of first.

The idea was to play with a nothing-to lose approach.

The golf course, which got windier and harder as the day wore on, rejected that approach.

Pancek finished his round with a three-putt bogey on No. 18. Pancek said the last putt was more about looking back at the end of the year than it was about looking back at his round.

“It wasn’t frustrating,” he said. “I was thinking about the last four years.”

After winning a difficult regional and rolling through sectionals, the Vikings were hoping for a different outcome. They probably, though, couldn’t have expected to finish at 1-under, like Westfield did, to win the title.

Patrick Andrie, who was disqualified after he signed for an incorrect score, said the whole day just wore on the team.

“The course was tougher, it was drier out,” he said. “It just weighs on you.”

Meihofer gave the Vikings some early hope. He was in contention for individual honors after he made a birdie on No. 2 and got to 5-under par.

He was sharp through six holes, lipping out a putt for birdie on No. 5 and then making a miracle par on No. 6 after he hit the ball in the heather twice. He had to take an unplayable lie the second time but then he proceeded to knock an iron from about 200 yards to about three feet. He made the putt for par.

It all started to unravel on No. 7 when he made bogey after missing the green on the short par-3.

He had to take an unplayable on No. 8 after he hit his ball behind a tree, and then on No. 9 he pushed a 4-iron out of bounds but still came back to make bogey.

On No. 10, he officially lost any chance he had for medalist honors when he made double bogey.

Meihofer said he made a few bad decisions with club selection that he’d like back.

Overall, though, he was happy to finish 1-under par.

“It was great to play with my four best friends and shoot 1-under par,” he said.



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