GREENFIELD — A sectional champion last year as a freshman, New Castle’s Blake Wheeler was one of the obvious favorites Monday when the area golfers took the course to decide the 2014 title.
Instead, it was another freshman – playing in Wheeler’s group – that emerged.
Mt. Vernon ninth-grader Oliver Mast fired a 1-under 71 at Hawk’s Tail to win the sectional crown.
“Playing with Blake today, and with all the other great golfers out here, I sort of knew it was going to take around even-par to win,” Mast said. “But I really wasn’t focused on the score too much until about the last three holes when I felt it creeping into my head.”
Mast maintained his focus to close with a par-birdie-par, edging New Castle’s Drew Saunders (72), Greenfield-Central’s Adam Casto (73) and Wheeler (74).
The Trojans won their second straight team title, posting a 301. Mt. Vernon was a runner-up at 308, followed by Shelbyville (318), Greenfield-Central (319) and New Palestine (345) in the 13-team event.
New Castle, Mt. Vernon and Shelbyville advanced as teams to the regional Friday (8 a.m.) at The Player’s Club in Yorktown. The top three teams plus the top three golfers from non-advancing teams moved on to the regional.
Casto, Shenandoah’s Ryan Farmer (75) and New Palestine’s Brady Elliott (77) grabbed the individual regional spots.
Farmer had the shot of the day. He took a double-eagle two on the par-5, 477-yard 16th, knocking in his second shot from approximately 180 yards.
Austin Alexander (75), Will Dant (80) and Jacob Ault (82) joined Mast in completing the team scoring for the Marauders, who succeeded in challenging New Castle.