Once again, Center Grove finds itself in a familiar location going into Tuesday early morning's preliminary of the high school children golf state champions.The Trojans took their regional by 3 strokes this year after advancing from their sectional 7 shots ahead of the competitors. Like in 2014, Center Grove is the favorite to win the state title, getting 7 of 8 votes in the latest coach’s survey. Westfield, which held back Center Grove by 4 strokes to win last year, got the remaining vote.
Here are three things to key an eye on when the two-day finals tee off at 8 a.m. at Carmel's Prairie View Golf Club:
Westfield opts for 3
Despite finishing 3 of its leading 5 players from last season, Westfield rolled through the 2016 weather without so much as a bump and qualified for its fifth consecutive state finals. Brothers Andrew (73, tied for 3rd) and Thomas Lewis (74, tied for fifth) finished amongst the top 5 individuals in their local and assisted move the Shamrocks into the finals, where they will attempt to win their third state title in the previous 4 years.
"We've had a good run (the previous couple of years)," Westfield assistant coach Scott Evans stated. "It's simply an actually great core group of golfers that form the basis of our group and type of bring us."
Young talent gives Zionsville another shot
Eighth-ranked Zionsville edged out Westfield for 2nd place in their regional at 303 on a tiebreaker (determined by fifth gamer's score), led by sophomore Joey Ranieri, who shot 73 to complete third general. The Eagles are riding leftover confidence from in 2014's motivating third-place surface, where Ranieri (151) and Drew Wood (145) finished in the top 25 people as freshmen.(The team is) not intimidated by the situation. I believe they're thrilled, and I hope we have a chance to play our best golf."
Carmel's Stone goes it alone
Ohio State commit Kevin Stone kept Carmel in the running for a state title when he certified as an individual after shooting a 72 in the Lafayette Jefferson local Thursday at Battle Ground Golf Course. He finished second total, behind Harrison's Cole Bradley (71), and led the pack by 2 strokes among individuals contending without a team.