ANDERSON — Their final scores were the same and the teammates shared medalist honors, but the two rounds couldn’t have been more different.
Lapel senior Corbin Renihan missed all but one fairway but kept his composure and finished with a 38, the same score as Bulldogs junior Grant Humerickhouse – whose round was a personal best – in a 155-165 win over Frankton at Meadowbrook Golf Course Monday night.
Frankton was led by sophomores Liam Baker and Christian Knauer, who each posted a 40. The team’s score represented a season low for the Eagles.
Renihan — the reigning THB Sports Boys Golf Athlete of the Year and one of the individual favorites for Saturday’s Madison County Championship — mostly struggled with his tee shots. On seven occasions, Renihan has landed safely on the fairway only once, on his final hole – the first at Meadowbrook.
Yet thanks to a chip-in for a birdie on his opener (#2) and some imaginative work around the greens, he was still -1 over his first 7 holes.
“I just needed to hit more fairways. I’m going to get on the range and work on my tee shots,” Renihan said. “I didn’t hit a lot of greens either, but I did make some nice saves.”
One such stoppage came on the par-3 eighth hole when Renihan’s tee shot faded to the right and ended up in a ravine between two trees less than a foot apart. With almost no swing radius available, he putt down with his 9 iron and put the ball on the green where he followed with the par putt from about 10 feet.
“I didn’t know it was between the trees until I went there and said, ‘Oh my God,'” he said. “I saw a little gap and did a 9-iron to try and get it out of there. Sometimes you need luck, and this was one of those.
Humerickhouse, meanwhile, was playing in the second quartet as Lapel’s No. 4 player and, with nothing spectacular or disastrous on his scoreboard, also entered with a new personal best 38.
“It’s the best trick he’s played in practice, in games, anything,” Lapel coach Ryan Jackson said. “It’s the same (like Renihan). He made some bad shots – out of nine he made a really bad shot in the tee box – but got away with a bogey. Neither guy made two bad shots in a row.
Junior Clayton Baker was a shot back and carded a 39 while Kaden Suchocki rounded out Lapel’s score with a 40 as the Bulldogs look to refine their game ahead of Saturday, where they will seek a third straight Madison County title .
“Pendleton (Heights) is playing really well this year, but I think if we have five guys playing their best golf, we’re really, really good,” Jackson said. “But I don’t think we’re anywhere near playing our best golf, though.”
Knauer’s length put him in position for a pair of eagle opportunities on the par-5 fourth as well as the par-4 sixth. Both putts just missed and he birdied both holes.
“It’s funny. He finished third in our conference last year,” Frankton coach Jeff Bates said. “He’s going in the right direction, and I think he shot a 7-iron in this par-5 for his eagle luck. The length is definitely there.
The putter frustrated Baker throughout the day. He made seven of nine greens in regulation but struggled to take advantage of those opportunities.
“It’s a fantastic round,” Bates said. “When you have that many greens in regulation, you give yourself a lot of birdie opportunities. He just didn’t putt well today. I think he underestimated some putts, and it cost him dear.
Jett Hiatt shot a 42 and Jace Scott came in with a 43 to round out the Eagles scorecard, and – of the top four scores – Hiatt is a freshman and the other three are sophomores.
Both teams had 27 total players involved in Monday’s doubleheader, giving both coaches plenty of depth on their rosters.
“Especially when there’s no golf course in either city,” Jackson said. “Just getting to know Jeff, his personality and his team, it’s just a fun group to be around. The same with our guys, they’re just fun to be around.
Both teams will take Tuesday off before returning to action on Wednesday as Frankton travel to the Championship site on Saturday to take on the Arabs at Fall Creek while Lapel travel to Knightstown.