By Josh Brown
TROY — Entering the season, the Troy boys golf team knew that its main competition for the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division title would be Butler.
After a couple of meetings in 18-hole invitationals this season, the Trojans knew just how good that competition was.
On Thursday, however, things weren’t as close as they had been previously as Troy hosted Butler in a nine-hole dual at Miami Shores Golf Course. Trojan junior Holden Scribner won medalist honors for the sixth time in six duals, shooting a 37 for the fourth time in his last five outing to help lead the Trojans to a convincing 159-172 victory.
“This was a nice, nice win for us,” Troy coach Mark Evilsizor said. “This is a big confidence builder for the guys. Obviously, this match doesn’t count toward the division standings, but this should give the guys an awful lot of confidence going into the Postseason GWOC tournament, where if we play the way we should, we should beat them. And that’s something that’s very important to us.”
The Trojans have plenty of reasons to be confident, too. Scribner, who shot 37s in three consecutive matches last week, topped that on Monday with a 32 as Troy shot a season-low 152 in a win over Northmont. Thursday, he was right back at it with another 37 to claim medalist honors. Scribner only had trouble on the final hole, bogeying it to shoot the 1-over total on the day.
“This is as well as he’s played in his three years with me,” Evilsizor said. “It’s the most consistent he’s played. If he continues to do this, there’s no telling how low he can go. He’s striking the ball well and continues to putt well. The key for him is to keep it steady and not peak to soon, keep honing on some of the things he needs to work on — and hopefully those scores can stay where they are and even keep getting better.”
Senior teammate Nate Uhlenbrock, not to be outdone, was only one stroke behind with a 2-over 38.
“Nate, I can’t tell you how proud I am of how well he’s playing this year,” Evilsizor said. “In high school golf, once you get to a certain level, to drop your average 1.5 strokes is pretty good. That’s hard to do. He’s in the low 38s.
“I think, in some ways, Holden is playing so well because Nate is playing so well. Those two continue to push each other, they help each other. They’re fist-bumping, and it’s really nice to see. That goes to the leadership of those two guys. They’re my best two golfers, and they’re my best two leaders, too.”
It didn’t stop there for the Trojans, either.
Nathan Henderson turned in Troy’s third-best score on the day, shooting a personal-best round of 41. Travis Bertram capped off the scoring with a 43, Zac Collin shot 44 and Ryan Dowling shot 46.
“This was Nathan’s best round. He’s played really well lately,” Evilsizor said of Henderson. “He went down and played a JV match about two weeks ago, and ever since then, he’s been a different kid. He’s proved that he’s not a JV player. A 41 for him, that’s really good. Hopefully he can continue, because come tournament time, we need five solid scores.
“Zac and Travis, those two are exactly the same average-wise in the league, and that’s good. It’s a good friendly competition between those two, and a lot of times with this team, it’s competition within the team — and that’s good. It’s really been beneficial.”
Next week, Troy is back in a pair of 18-hole tournaments. On Tuesday, the Trojans will compete in the Firebird Invitational at NCR, and on Saturday they will go to Reid North — the sectional tournament site — for the Christoff Memorial.
“We’ve kind of done some dual matches now, so it’s time to get back to some invitationals and see how much we’ve improved,” Evilsizor said. “That’s kind of the goal. Right now, I like where we are as a team. The boys are playing well and improving. Again, the key is not to peak too early, but I think we’ll be real competitive at the end of the season.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.