GREENFIELD — Hawk’s Tail of Greenfield not only has familiarity, it has been a place where the New Palestine Dragons have played some of their best golf this season.

On Monday, the course hosted the Greenfield-Central Sectional, the Dragons shot a season-low 322 to finish second and advance to Thursday’s regional at Players Club at Woodland Trails in Yorktown.

Mt. Vernon didn’t have its best round, but a score of 338 gave them the third and final team qualifying position. New Castle, led by individual medalist Derek Tabor, who shot an even-par 72, won with a score of 311.

“I think everyone on this team knows this course like the back of their hand,” New Palestine senior No. 1 golfer Matthew Barada said. “We all know where to go and where not to go. We know if the wind is in a certain spot there are certain places you have to be careful of.

“It’s more of a comfort thing. It’s a lot easier driving here in your own car and showing up at a place you have played a million times than having to go somewhere else and get off a bus after having a long bus drive. Comfort is definitely a big part of it.”

The Dragons, as well as Greenfield-Central, play their home matches at Hawk’s Tail. Earlier this season, New Palestine won the Hancock County Golf Tournament on the course.

On Monday, Barada placed third overall with a three-over-par 75.

“I hit it really well today and putted pretty real,” Barada said. “For me, it came down to just two or three bad swings that kept me from shooting 72 (par) or under. It was really windy today, tough conditions. I had a bogey on No. 14 and No. 15 on the back nine. I knew if I played those even or one-over it could be a really good score, unfortunately I bogeyed both and was three over.”

Along with getting a solid round from Barada, the Dragons got some help from players that had their best rounds of the season.

Junior Landon Beaty was at even par (36) at the turn. He finished with a 78, the first time he’s been under 80 this season.

“I felt like my putting was the main part of being able to break 80,” Beaty said. “I just one-putted a lot of holes and it saved my score. I just tried to stay in the fairway and not do anything dumb.

“I realized on hole No. 9 I had to par to be even and I parred. I went to the back (nine) and I had a triple (bogey) and that scared me. Then I just turned my round on after that.”

Junior Alex Cofer, the team’s No. 5 golfer, shot 86. It was his first under-90 round. Senior Braeden Baker shot 83 and Evan Griffith carded a 91.

“They played really well,” New Palestine coach Chris Story said of his team. “Our guys have been practicing the last week and a half to get ready. They’ve been grinding individually and as a team. They played really, really well today. I am very happy with the scores.”

Mt. Vernon coach Tom Kirby said his team is just happy to get a chance to play another day.

“We’re feeling highly blessed to have an opportunity to play again,” Kirby said.

Monday’s round wasn’t rough for all the Marauders.

Slotted in as the team’s No. 2 golfer, Asher Cotton had a season-best 81.

“Asher Cotton shot the best round of his season. It was easily eight or nine strokes better than what he has done so far,” Kirby said. “That helped us quite a bit, being our medalist. We have been waiting on him to do it all year, and he turned it on at a good time.”

Dylan Dreiman followed with an 82. Nils Erkmanis had an 86. Kyran Maxfield carded an 89, and Kreighton Wordon rounded out the Marauder team with a 92.

Greenfield-Central fell just short having any qualifiers for Thursday’s regional.

The Cougars shot a 347 and finished tied for fifth place with Shenandoah. Shelbyville was fourth with 346.

G-C brothers Tyler Young, a sophomore, and Avery Young, a freshman, each finished with an 83. They tied with Shenandoah’s Jordan Zody and Landen Mathes for the third and final individual advancement position and had to go to a sudden-death playoff.

Avery Young was eliminated after the first playoff hole. Zody won the final individual advancement spot on the second hole.

He’ll join Shelbyville’s Eli Baker and Morristown’s Asher Caldwell, who both shot 82, in Thursday’s tournament.

Eastern Hancock finished with a 404. Jackson Murphy was low Royals golfer with a 94.


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