For the Daily Reporter
MUNCIE — Due to the persistent afternoon storms, a planned 18-hole Hoosier Heritage Conference boys golf tournament turned into a nine-hole affair Saturday, with some players having to sit through a two-hour delay.
Even with the rain, however, three golfers from Hancock County earned All-Conference honors with top eight finishes at the Muncie Elks. Clayton Long from Greenfield-Central led the way by shooting a 36, good for fourth place overall. Brady Elliott of New Palestine and Oliver Mast of Mt. Vernon each shot 38, good for seventh and eighth, respectively, after a tiebreaker.
“The course was slow and the greens were breaking opposite than what everyone was expecting, but I could have scored even better if I didn’t bogey the last hole,” Long said.
New Castle won the title with 152, ahead of Yorktown (154), Shelbyville (160), Pendleton Heights (164), Mt. Vernon (165), New Palestine (170), Delta (173) and Greenfield-Central (187).
The Trojans’ Drew Saunders led the team champs with a 34, good for the conference individual crown, ahead of Yorktown’s Blake Bice (35).
Mt. Vernon had two golfers finish in the top 15, with Jacob Ault finishing with a 39, a stroke behind teammate Mast.
Elliot won the tiebreaker against Mast to finish seventh due to having a better score on the most difficult hole.
“He (Mast) was disappointed with where he finished,” Mt. Vernon coach Caleb Zelencik said. “He finished sixth last year, but I think the conditions and the scoring issues made it a much more even playing field.”
The weather delay made it such that only the scores on the front nine holes counted, even if players had played back nine holes before the delay.
Ault managed the wet conditions well, his coach added.
“I was really pleased with how Jacob played today,” Zelencik said. “He managed his round, kept the ball in play and did what he needed to do to finish top 15.”
A day prior to the HHC tourney, Shelbyville beat Mt. Vernon 150-160, with Will Dant’s 39 pacing the Marauders.
Saturday, it was Mast and Ault who helped propel Mt. Vernon to the highest finish among the Hancock County schools.
“We sat for almost two hours before we got to continue our round,” Zelencik said. “I thought we did a great job responding to that. Our goal was third, but given the circumstances, we were happy with fifth.”
Greenfield coach Jeremy Spencer said he was pleased with his team’s performance, despite the eighth-place finish.
“Today’s score was much better than what we had been doing,” he said. “I thought overall we played pretty well. Luckily the weather didn’t seem to affect us.”
New Palestine, Greenfield-Central and Mt. Vernon will meet again June 2 at the county tourney hosted by Eastern Hancock.
Hoosier Heritage Conference Boys Golf Championships
Saturday, 9 holes, Muncie Elks
New Castle 152, Yorktown 154, Shelbyville 160, Pendleton 164, Mt. Vernon 165, New Palestine 170, Delta 173, Greenfield Central 187.
• Drew Saunders (NC) 34
• Blake Bice (YHS) 35
• Zach Farr (PHS) 36
• Clayton Long (GC) 36
• Bo Manskirk (YHS) 37
• Blake Wheeler (NC) 38
• Brady Elliot (NP) 38
• Oliver Mast (MV) 38