GREENFIELD — For Mt. Vernon junior Oliver Mast, now is not the time to reinvent the wheel. However, the occasion does call for a little fine tuning.
After battling wet and soggy conditions the past several weeks, Mast and the Marauders are finally off and rolling. A score of 312 was good enough for Mt. Vernon to wins its own invitational Saturday and the team followed it up with a 164-195 Hoosier Heritage Conference win against Greenfield-Central on Monday at Hawk’s Tail Golf Course.
Mast, who advanced to the state finals last season, won the Mt. Vernon Invitational on Saturday at Arrowhead Golf Course after finishing with a round of 72. He also won medalist honors Monday, carding a 37.
Junior Will Dant was consistent, too, finishing with a 76 Saturday afternoon and a 40 against the Cougars.
“Really it has been composure,” Dant said of what he’s learned from playing alongside Mast. “If I hit a bad shot, really it’s out of my mind. Making that come-backer really helps.”
Added Mast, “I have just been fine-tuning everything and making sure it’s where I want it, just learning to trust my swing more. His (Dant’s) ball striking has gotten so much better.”
Dant also said hitting the ball cleaner this season is making a difference, especially with his irons. He worked hard over the off season on shots around the greens.
“I’m putting myself in a position to make birdies, not pars,” he said.
Greenfield-Central was led by freshman Noah Moehler, who shot a 44, and senior Clayton Long, who finished with a 46.
Behind Moehler and Long for the Cougars was Zach Archer, who finished with a 49, and John Barber, who carded a 56.
Also for Mt. Vernon, Max Heitman scored a 42 while Xavier Dunham finished with a nine-hole round of 45.
“You look at Tiger Woods and his success and the competition it brought,” Marauders head coach Caleb Zelencik said. “We have that going on with our team (in Oliver Mast). We have that guy and everyone is working hard to be like him. We have five or six guys battling for those top spots. But even seven through 10 are working for those spots.
“They want to push him and it is bring the whole team up. He is really a humble kid. He is very team orientated.”
One of Mast’s best shots of the day come on the eighth hole. He chipped in a ball on the fringe of the green from about 15 feet away for a birdie.
Long, Greenfield-Central’s only senior, earned All-Hoosier Heritage Conference honors as a sophomore and a junior and carded an 83 at Arrowhead Golf Course last season to join the All-Hancock County team. During the sectional last season, he shot an 80 and was the lowest-scoring individual regional qualifier.
Mt. Vernon returns to the links Wednesday at Arrowhead Golf Course against Sheridan while Greenfield-Central will play today at Antler Pointe Golf Course versus Rushville.
The Hoosier Heritage Conference meet is right around the corner, as well, and is scheduled for May 14 at Hawk’s Tail.
Mt. Vernon 164
Oliver Mast – 37 (medalist)
Will Dant – 40
Max Heitman – 42
Xavier Dunham – 45
Noah Moehler – 44
Clayton Long – 46
Zach Archer – 49
John Barber – 56