MONTGOMERY — Montgomery County was well represented Thursday at the IHSAA Golf Regional at Country Oaks Country Club. Luke Ranard represented Crawfordsville as an individual while Southmont competed as a team after placing second at the sectional last week.
While neither Ranard or Southmont advanced out of the regional, that didn’t stop them from putting together a solid round of golf.
Ranard carded an 82 shooting a 41 on both the front and back nine. The junior, who holds himself to a high standard, knew he left some strokes out on the course.
“I didn’t hit the ball the way I normally do today,” Ranard said of his performance. “I should be happy that I shot my average, but I just left a ton of strokes out there and you can’t have a good score or be happy when you only hit five greens. I know that I’m at least four shots better than what I shot today and that’s the frustrating part.”
Despite how disappointed Ranard was with his performance, Crawfordsville coach Tom Perkins thought the opposite and said Ranard should be proud of his effort.
“It was his first time on the big stage,” Perkins said. “Today his chip shots were able to save some strokes and he never had anything worse than a bogey. I was thrilled with the way he played against kids who are really good and he was able to place second in the group he was in.”
The goal for Ranard now is to use what he learned from his first experience at a Regional and use it to not only get himself back to the same spot next year, but the entire Athenian team.
“Having the team be here would be great to do,” Ranard said. “I’m happy that I got to be here and had fun. My season could’ve ended last week but it didn’t and I’m grateful for the experience.”
With the season now behind them, Perkins knows next year the expectations will rise and so along with Ranard, the entire team will have to take a step forward.
“Luke, with his performance this season, will raise the expectations for himself,” Perkins said. “With that I’m going to raise the expectations for the entire team. He (Ranard) will make sure all of them get better because he was disappointed that we didn’t get to be here as a team, so heading into next year that will be the goal.”
Southmont shot 353 as a team and was led by senior Micah Korhorn’s 85. sophomore Nolan Allen ended with an 86 while fellow sophomore Harrison Haddock carded an 89. Junior Carson McKinney shot a 93 and sophomore Luke Tesmer rounded out the scoring for the Mounties with a 98.
Coach Bill Whalen’s goal all season for his team was to shoot right around 340. Although the Mounties failed to reach that mark, Whalen didn’t let that stop him from giving all of his boys credit for their performance.
“That 350 mark seems to be where we keep getting stuck at,” Whalen said. “For most of the guys this being their first regional and not quite knowing what to expect, I am very proud of what they did and have no problems whatsoever with how the played.”
Korhorn sse his high school golf career come to an end. A career which has seen two trips to the regional, a medalist at this season’s conference meet and many other accomplishments along the way.
“We’re going to miss him and he’s such a great kid to be around,” Whalen said. “He’s really coming into his stride right now and was an outstanding leader for us.”
“It was an awesome experience getting to end my career here,” Korhorn said. “Most importantly I had a lot of fun and that what matters the most. I feel like I had the perfect high school golf experience.”
Southmont will be back next year with everyone but Korhorn returning and Whalen knows just as Perkins mentioned with the Athenians, that the expectations will be even higher as the Mounties try to build off their highly successful 2021 campaign.
“Losing Micah hurts but we’ve got to have some of these guys step up and that starts this summer,” Whalen said. “You get better in the off-season not during the season and we have guys who will be working their tails off. They’ve got some big shoes to fill but the expectation is that we’ll continue to build off of this.”