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Crawford County’s only senior golfer, Ryan Griffith, shot a 79 at Country Oaks Golf Course in Montgomery to finish in a four-way tie for 13th at the Washington Regional Thursday afternoon. Griffith missed the state cut by three shots. Photo by Wade Bell

Griffith misses state cut by three strokes

IHSAA Golf Regional

June 17, 2009
Crawford County senior Ryan Griffith came up short on a bid for the state golf meet Thursday afternoon when he fired a 79 for 18 holes at Country Oaks Golf Course in Montgomery at the Washington Regional. Griffith finished in a four-way tie for 13th, while a score of 76 made the state cut.

"He parred his first five holes," Griffith's coach Jeff (Pete) Crecelius said. "He just had a couple of little hiccups. The four-putt on 11 hurt him. That got him a little mentally, but Ryan hung in there. Ryan's hung in all year. He's a grinder."

Besides the course, Griffith and the other golfers had to deal with ever-changing weather conditions. The day started with a strong south wind followed by moderate rain and then a blazing sun.

"The conditions didn't bother me too bad," Griffith said. "I just did what I wanted. I got off to a good start, parred my first five and then got on a bogey train there. I bogeyed a couple in a row and that kind of hurt me. I got my par back on nine. Then, I went to the back and I start hitting it around. Once I hit that short one on 11, I needed to make a bunch of birdies. I got behind and I knew it wasn't good enough. For as bad as I hit the ball, I wasn't too mad with my score."

"Once the rain hit, Ryan played really well," Crecelius said. "Until the little deluge of rain hit on about seven or eight. He had a couple of bad holes and then with it raining, it didn't help his confidence any. We got down a little mentally for a couple of holes. All in all, he played well."

Griffith finished with 13 pars, five bogeys and one double-bogey, shooting a 39 on the front nine and a 40 on the back. Griffith said the 11th hole was the trouble spot.

"I hit a little downhill putt and blew it," he said. "I left it way short because the green started to slope on me. I left it five feet short, then on the next one, I went two feet by trying to get out of the kid's way. I went ahead and hit the putt and went ahead and pushed it right and missed it. It was a four-putt."

Griffith's teammate, Jarret Denzinger, had an off day with an 86 for the 18 holes.

"It's a very, very mental game," Denzinger said. "I usually don't let it get to me too bad, but I was kind of upset because I wanted me and Ryan to make it out to state just to have somebody to get there. We couldn't really do much about it today. It was just bad conditions to start out, but we could have shot better than what we did."

"Jarret has struggled on the greens from the get-go," Crecelius said. "I expected Jarret to fight through it a little more than what he has today. Jarret is a junior. We'll have to regroup and come back next year. Jarret needs to work on his putting. He needs to work on his mental game. If he does that, Jarret has all the capability of being a really fine golfer."

Paoli's Griffen Brown was also in the hunt for a state spot, but missed by a single stroke, shooting a 77 for the day. Brown finished with three bogeys, one double-bogey, 12 pars and two birdies.

Brown had one big bright spot for the day, when he knocked in a big chip shot from about 20 yards.

"It was on hole No. 3," Brown said. "I pushed my second shot right and long into this bunker, and the sand was soaked and it was raining. I just tried to hit a good bunker shot. When I hit it out, I thought, 'Oh, man, it's going to stop.' It just took another bounce and started rolling. About three feet from the hole, I can see it right in line with the pin. I yelled, 'Get in!' and it dropped. It listened for once."

With Griffith being the Wolfpack's only senior, Crecelius said his team should be in contention next year for both the conference and sectional.

"We lowered our scoring average four shots for 2008-2009," the Crawford County coach said. "I expect improvement in all of the kids. Austin Key, I think you'll see a big improvement in him. Tyler Wyman, Andrew Curl and Jarret, if we can get Jarret to play the way he's capable of playing, I truly believe our scoring average will drop next year. I believe we will be a favorite for the sectional, and I believe we'll be a favorite for the conference next year.

"All in all a good year; 69-21 was our record," he said. "I'm pleased."

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