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Crawford golfers squeak out PLAC win

June 04, 2008
When Crawford senior Ethan Smith began the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference golf match, he had no idea he would make any difference in the final outcome. When the final scores were tallied, however, his fifth-man score of 88 proved to be the difference as the Wolfpack won their fourth straight conference title, edging out runner-up Springs Valley.

"I wouldn't have had a million dreams that this would have mattered," Smith said. "This is great. We thought we had a chance to win it, but really wasn't expecting to win. We wanted to win and we came out and pulled it out today and it feels great."

"Ethan Smith came through in a big way," Crawford coach Jeff Crecelius said. "Ethan's not played well for us, but today I just had a feeling Ethan would play well, and he came through. He shot 88 on a very hard golf course. I'm just tickled to death for the kids."

Crawford got off to a good start with Jarret Denzinger knocking down a 20-foot putt to save par on the first hole and Andrew Curl knocking a long fourth shot to within a foot of the pin then putting for bogey after hitting into the tall grass. Crecelius said a good start was imperative to the outcome.

"We sort of ride the highs and the lows, and starting off on a high is a good thing for us," he said. "Jarret ran in a long putt on number one for par that got him off the a good start.

"Andrew, on his first hole, hooks one left into the heather (grass), has to come back basically hitting the hole on his third shot 400 yards out and walks off the green with a bogey. Just getting off to a good start meant everything."

Heavy rain two days before at the Donald Ross course at French Lick had softened the course and the greens. Despite sunny skies and temperatures in the 80's, there was little change as the day went on.

"They were fast, but they were soft," said West Washington's Caleb Powers, who finished with the low score of the day with a 77. "They were holding good. It's not like you couldn't hold the green. I felt like they were in perfect condition. They might have got a little faster, but not much."

Powers said he had struggled through most of the season.

"I don't know where it came from to tell you the truth," he said of his low score. "It just happened today."

Springs Valley's Zach Kellems also shot below 80, finishing with a 79 for the 18 holes on the par-70 course. Kellems said one key was keeping the ball below the pin.

Ryan Griffith had the low round for the Wolfpack, also shooting a 79. Griffith said the first key was getting the right breaks.

"I had a lot of good breaks but I had a lot of bad breaks, too," he said. "I was hitting the ball real well, and I came up on hole number 14 and the kids behind us were yelling on my backswing, and I hit it right in the bunker. That was the only double-bogey I had."

The other key was keeping the ball out of the grass.

"I didn't hit one ball in the heather and that really helped me," he said. "It's impossible. You might as well take a drop. It's not worth it. I told myself, 'If I hit it in there, it's going to be a drop.' I was lucky enough not to be in there."

Crawford got birdies from Curl and Tyler Wyman on their final holes, which left the Wolfpack tied in a 337 tie with Valley. Looking at the fifth-man scores saw Smith's 88 three shots under Valley's Patrick Deel, who finished with a 91 for the day.

"Sitting there five minutes before the final scores was the hardest part, just waiting," Smith said. "It was a relief that I made that last putt. That's the first thing I thought about, that last putt I made."

"That was a tight one," Crecelius said. "I'm very proud of kids. We knew coming Valley was going to be tough to beat, but this just goes to show you that every shot matters in this game. I had two kids up and down come off the green on their last hole. I had two kids birdie their last holes of the day. Tyler Wyman birdied number one and Andrew Curl birdied number one on his last hole. That's the difference right there."

"This is four years straight conference champions, and we're young," Crecelius said. "We played one senior (Smith) today. Tyler Wyman played excellent for us as a freshman. He was a little nervous coming in. Jarret played really well. Jarret's a sophomore. He had a couple of bad holes, but sucked it up and played well coming in. Ethan hit an 88, and even though it was struggling, leaking a little oil, down the stretch he came through for us."

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Crawford County 337

(Ryan Griffith 79, Jarret Denzinger 83, Tyler Wyman 87, Andrew Curl 88, Ethan Smith 88)

Springs Valley 337

(Zach Kellems 79, Thomas Harner 82, Lared Meehan 86, Landon Harner 90, Patrick Deel 91)

West Washington 342

(Caleb Powers 77, Jared Lincks 84, Jordan Clements 89, Bryadon Mauck 92)

Paoli 349

(Daniel Mills 84, Cody Raymer 86, Griften Brown 87, Cody Baker 92)

Perry Central 353

(Zach Graves 84, Zach Rogier 86, Anthony Shaylor 96, Travis Goffinet 97)

Mitchell 357

(Luke Burris 88, Taylor Phillips 88, Jimmy Bales 88, Brandon Bolton 93)

Orleans 392

(Quintin Craig 83, Jordan Jones 97, Alex Newlin 97, Tommy Tarr 115)

Medalist - Caleb Powers

All-Conference - Caleb Powers (WW), Ryan Griffith (CC), Zach Kellems (SV), Thomas Harner (SV), Quintin Craig (O), Jarret Denzinger (CC), Jared Lincks (WW), Daniel Mills (Pa), Zach Graves (PC)

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